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All the Arms Around You

Title: All the Arms Around You
Author: kel_reiley
Written for: thaddeusfavour The Great.
Length: 3,000-ish words
Rating: Festive
Betas: mad_jaks, invisible_lift, solsticezero, count_to_seven, electro_club, misswinterhill, lionessvalenti, some others that I can’t remember… uh yes, really
Warnings/Spoilers: Um, basically just ignore whatever the “actual” timeline of events might be
Summary: A week in Torchwood.
FYI I wrote that scene WAY before Doctor Who 'End of Time' aired (like way way way before)


The alarm sounded just as everyone was getting ready to leave (minus Owen, because he had skipped out twenty minutes earlier). Toshiko hurried back to her computer to check the rift report.

It was nearing midnight and they’d already put in a full day of running, chasing and being chased, averting crises and holding their breath as the world watched London once again.

“I think I’ve got it, Jack,” Tosh said over her shoulder as the others gathered round. “Something’s tripping the system.” Tosh sighed. This wouldn't be the first year that she didn't make it home to her family. She’d miss Ojiisan and Obachan and hoped she’d have next year with them.

“Can you pull up the satellite images?” Jack asked, leaning in behind her.

Toshiko typed quickly, hardly needing to think about her actions - this is what came naturally to her, after all - and the pictures came up on the screen. All she could make out was a dark blur followed by a flash of bright red.

“Is that..?” Gwen asked, peering more closely at the screen.

Jack clapped his hands together. “Best get home, kids.” He shooed Gwen and Ianto toward the doors, then settled one hand on Toshiko’s shoulder and smiled. “I think you’ve got a train to catch, right?”


Ianto’s duvet was tan with white trim. His bedroom was very bland with blank, white walls and sparse furnishings scattered about the small space: a wardrobe, a chair and a chest of drawers. And the bed, of course. The very, very comfortable bed. Jack liked the bed. On Jack’s side there was a low table with a reading lamp that cast just enough light for him to see without disturbing Ianto, and two drawers for Jack’s things. He didn’t actually keep that many things here; he wasn’t over often enough, really. Ianto barely spent any time here, either, and when he did, it was because he was exhausted and would go home alone to pass out.

Ianto kept an ugly green and blue quilt on his side of the bed, tucked up at the corner of the mattress mostly beneath his pillow. (He had never offered any explanation as to the quilt’s significance, and Jack had never asked.) He usually slept sprawled on his back with his mouth open and now woke with a snort - a snuffled, aborted snore - when the phone rang.

It was Jack’s mobile and, as only a select few people actually had that number, Jack waved Ianto (already awake and alert, sitting up and reaching for his boxers) off as he checked the ID before answering. “Colonel Mace. To what do I owe the pleasure?” Jack grinned at the glimpse of Ianto’s arse as he pulled his boxers up and walked from the bedroom, presumably to the bathroom or the coffeemaker.

“Perhaps Torchwood takes the holidays off, Captain Harkness, but we’ve got a bit of a situation here in London!”

“And a Merry Christmas to you, too, Colonel.” Jack scratched lazily, swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up, letting the duvet and the sheet fall away. “Whatever it is, UNIT has made it quite clear that London is your territory.” Not that Jack would ever agree to that, anyway.

“Dammit, Harkness-”

“Jack! Get in here!” Ianto called out from the lounge. “Now!”

“I might have to get back to you, Colonel.” He snapped his mobile shut, dashing out of the bedroom stark naked.

Ianto was standing in only his boxer shorts, the television remote in hand. On the screen, the news camera panned up into the early morning clouds over Buckingham Palace to reveal a ship - what looked like a giant cruise liner - falling from the sky.

Jack skidded to a halt, bare feet slipping on the rug. “Oh, damn. Is that this year?”

Ianto did a double-take at Jack, rolled his eyes, but there was almost a smile on his lips before it disappeared into a deep frown. “Jack, shouldn’t someone be doing something? Like us, for example.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it.” Jack put his hands on his hips and rocked back on his heels. “I know this. It’ll be taken care of.”

“What? How do you know?” Distractedly, Ianto crossed the room to pull the curtains shut, pointedly not looking at Jack’s naked arse.

“Everyone knows the story of the Titanic.”

“That it hit an iceberg and sank on April fourteenth, nineteen-twelve?” Ianto perched on the edge of his coffee table and watched the television intently. The ship was falling faster now.

“Huh? No, not that one. This one.” Jack pointed at the screen, and really it should have been righting itself by now, shouldn’t it? He knew this story. “Midshipman Frame, big hero, he saved Earth.”

“I hate it when you talk about things that haven’t happened yet in the past tense,” Ianto mumbled, his attention focused on the broadcast. “This is not looking good.”

Alonso.” Jack smiled, thinking back. “Always wanted to meet him; he sounded hot. Trust me, it’s fine.”

“Remember what happened last Christmas? That star thing. And someone drained the Thames-”

“Yeah, and it was taken care of, wasn’t it?” Jack said, firmly. He knew his history. Well, not his history - some of that was just long gone. But this story he had memorized.

“And we didn’t hear about it until after it had happened,” Ianto retorted. “Why didn’t our equipment pick this up? I thought you’d worked out all the kinks. And what about last night? Surely you don’t actually believe-”

Jack’s phone rang again and he hurried to answer. “Hark-”

“Oh my God, Jack! Are you seeing this? What do we do?”

“It’s alright, Gwen.”

“All right? How is this all right?!” He could hear Rhys squawking something in the background and then Buckingham Palace was on the screen again, the Queen herself being whisked down the steps. And the ship-

“It’s pulling up,” Ianto said, sitting up straighter and reaching for his own phone.

Jack, very quiet and controlled, released his breath. “See, I told you. Under control.”

“Jack? Was it-” Jack’s phone beeped loudly in his ear, cutting Gwen off.

“Sorry, Gwen. Get right back to you.” He switched over to the other line. “Hark-”

“It was him! Did you know?” Colonel Mace shouts down the phone.


“He employed Security Code seven-seven-one. You know who that is! If you had prior knowledge of The Doctor’s involvement, you should have informed us, Harkness!”

Jack stared blankly at the wall. “I gotta go.” He cut the call and dropped his hands to his sides.

Ianto was just finishing up his own call. He turned, staring over at Jack with a knowing look. “Guess Christmas is saved once again.”

“Close call,” Jack said, one corner of his mouth lifting in a tentative smile. He couldn’t help but laugh and wonder just how much of the history he knew was missing a little blue box.

“I rang Tosh. She’s OK. Made it to her family safe and sound.”

Nodding, Jack smiled. “Oh. I should call Gwen back.” He waved his phone in Ianto’s face before flipping it back open.

“I suppose that leaves me to check up on Owen. He’s probably comatose in some stranger’s bed.”


Life went on just as before. Rhys didn’t know why he was still surprised. The shops were as crowded as ever. Even after that one year when some students had pulled that massive prank with all the shop window dummies- Oh. Oh, that made sense, now.

Gwen tugged at his arm to get him moving again and Rhys fell into step beside her. He just knew she was going to drag him to each and every sale, but he found he didn’t mind all that much. It was a price he was willing to pay if it meant he got to spend a whole day - a whole day, Harkness! - with his beautiful wife. He hummed along to ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ until Gwen glared at him.

“It’s after Christmas now,” she said. “Shouldn’t they lose the music?”

“It’s still the season, Gwen.”

Rhys loved Christmas. He loved everything about Christmas: decorations, presents, Christmas pudding (especially Christmas pudding), snow (he’d been so excited that it had snowed on Christmas day! “It’s not real snow,” Jack had told them and Rhys had said, “Piss off, Harkness, you don’t have to ruin everything.”), and the festive music. He was pretty sure that Gwen only hated that song because of the Christmas concert she’d done in school - a story told to him one drunken night that he was not allowed to bring up ever again.

“Right. The season of giving.” She pointed to the long queue of people making their returns and exchanges as they passed through Howells. “Ungrateful, but I suppose it’s better than keeping something you don’t actually want or need.”

She was only saying that because she hadn’t had time to do any Christmas shopping this year. Also, probably because his mam had bought them matching Snuggies and they weren’t returning those! If Gwen didn’t want hers, he’d use them both. He noticed her drifting over to the jewelry counter and grabbed her hand. “Come on, love. Let’s get lunch. I’m starving.”

“Alright, where-” Her mobile buzzed in her pocket and she fished it out to check. He could just tell by the look on her face that the screen was flashing TORCHWOOD.


But then it rang and she answered. “Ianto, what’s- Oh. Are you sure? Yeah, alright. See you.” She flipped her phone shut and smiled up at Rhys. “All clear. They’ve got it covered.”


The cold air was almost too much for her, but the wind felt good, bolstering her up and up and up, everything crisp and clear so that she could see forever. The heat of home made her tingle when she swooped down low, inside, and the presence of others was comforting. Just two, noisy and not, waiting with her favorite treat. She nestled in high above to keep watch.


Back to the grind and Owen was disappointed with himself for being eager to get back into work. He’d come in yesterday, even, but Jack and Ianto were already there. He’d backed right out again - no way was he sticking around for that!

He could have spent his holiday not getting pissed, but where was the fun in that? He’d even had an invite from Dear Old Dad to spend the day with his new family. Owen had never even met his two half-brothers, but they were babies. Or twelve or something. He’d seen a photo of the new wife though, once. He’d have probably ended up hitting on her.

He had called his mum and let her whinge at him for half an hour - that was all he was required to do. She hadn’t mentioned anything about visiting.

“Owen!” Jack came bounding up from the autopsy bay and Ianto trailed after him with a black bin bag nearly full to bursting. “We’ve got a present for you!”

“Thanks, but I didn’t get you anything.” He backed away as Ianto came closer.

“Not that,” Jack said, gesturing to the bag. “It’s down on the table. No idea what it is, but it’s big, hairy, stinky and dead. As soon as Tosh gets here, I’ll have her search the database for matches, but I need you to tell me what killed it.”

“Unless you’d like this, too.” Ianto held up the bag. “Incinerator or cryo?”

“What’s that?” Owen asked, eyeing it warily.

“Goo, mostly.”

“Oh, gimme that.” Owen grabbed the bag and carried it back down to autopsy. He donned his lab coat and gloves and turned to the table. Oh yeah, he grinned and reached for a scalpel, this was going to be messy.


Weevils were heavy and awkwardly shaped.

“I could- uh, whoa- could have handled this by myself, you know,” Jack said, voice strained as he nearly dropped the creature’s feet.

Ianto rolled his eyes, but then he almost tripped over the stairs and lost his grip on the weevil’s upper body. He managed to catch it before it hit the floor and Jack waited for him to get a firmer hold. They may have been strange beasts from another planet that smelled like rotten eggs and occasionally killed people, but that was no reason not to try and treat them as respectfully as possible… while locking them up in a cell.

Sometimes Ianto watched Jack watching their charges and he wondered. If there were a way to send these creatures home, Jack would do it. And Ianto thought that it must be awful being lost so far away from everything you’ve ever known; to wake up one day on an alien world with no hope of ever getting back. If there were a way, Jack would find it. Will find it, probably, one day in the future. Perhaps Ianto might even live to see that.

As it was, they’d keep this one here for a few days and then release it back into the sewers. Hopefully, it would have the good sense to stay there. With the rift here, living in Cardiff was a bit like living in one of those exotic places that Ianto’d only read about or seen on telly, where people and wild animals live harmoniously, for the most part, until the day a child goes missing or your father gets mauled by a bear, and then everyone remembers for a few days that you’ve got to be extra careful walking through the forest.

The only problem was that the people of Cardiff didn’t know about the wild animals. It was a shame nobody actually believed the whole ‘alligators in the sewers’ schtick.

At least it had stopped raining. Of course, it was all well and good for certain persons to save the world in a wondrous and dramatic fashion, but someone still had to take care of the little things. That first beautiful snowfall on Christmas day, that had lasted through the night and blanketed the ground with fine, powdery fluff, had soon turned to drizzle and then all-out rain for the rest of the week.

Weevils seemed to like the rain. Or maybe they hated it, but they always came out when it rained. And the rift seemed to act up when the weather behaved so erratically. Although, Ianto believed it was really the other way around - the rift affecting the weather rather than the weather affecting the rift.

This was the first night in over a week that Ianto could have been home and in bed - and asleep! - before eleven. If that made him sound like an old man, well he just didn’t care. He was tired.

He followed Jack back up through the Hub to his office and reached automatically when Jack began shrugging off his coat. Jack glanced back, a peculiar look on his face, as Ianto slid the coat down Jack’s arms and folded it over his own.

“Headed home?” Jack dragged his braces down over his shoulders to let them dangle at his hips. “You need some sleep.”

“Uh… yep. I’m just-” Ianto nodded, once, sharply, not really certain how he’d planned to finish that sentence. He moved past Jack to hang the coat up on the hook then looked down at his own filthy suit, mud and… other things staining up the lengths of his trousers. “After today, I haven’t got any clean clothes left here.”

“Mm…” Jack scratched his ear, absently. “I couldn’t find any socks this morning.”

“That’s because they all end up at my place.” Ianto laughed, an odd-sounding trickle in the quiet of the Hub. He watched as Jack undid the top two buttons of his shirt and found himself moving forward without a thought. He caught Jack’s hands and pushed them away, working the rest of the buttons free himself. The shirt was still tucked into Jack’s trousers, but Ianto slipped his hands inside, over the white cotton of Jack’s t-shirt, along his sides and back up his chest, feeling the heat of Jack’s body through the fabric.

Ianto didn’t often stop and think about this, about Jack’s body, about being with him. He knew Jack was gorgeous, often found himself staring when they were in bed, or the shower, or getting dressed. He’d have to force himself to drag his eyes away. But it was so much different to feel him, here, warm and solid beneath his clothes. Ianto was too embarrassed to admit how comforting it was.

And god, how impossible did he have to make it just to ask? He straightened up, kept his hands on Jack’s waist, eyes fixed on the center of the white t-shirt. “You coming, then?”

He felt Jack move and risked a glance up to his face. Jack was smiling that soft little half-smile and reaching for his coat.


“Oi, don’t fall asleep on me,” Owen said, nudging Toshiko’s shoulder with his own.

She sat up straight, blinking rapidly. “I’m good.” She reached for her glass, but didn’t pick it up to drink, only slid it closer on the table.

“Just a few more minutes,” Jack said, with a lazy smile, raising his own pint up. Gwen and Ianto did the same and Jack clinked each of their glasses.

“I will survive this year if it kills me,” Ianto said before draining his pint in one, long chug.

Jack gave him a sideways look, shaking his head, and lifted his arm up over and behind Ianto’s head to rest it along the back of the seat. He spotted Rhys, emerging from the crowd around the bar, carrying a tray of drinks.

“Looks like it’s time for the next round.”

“The last round, love,” Gwen said, scooting over to let Rhys sit beside her. She grabbed a full glass from the tray and raised it high. “To ending the year on a victory.”

“Right.” Owen sneered. “Good riddance to this rubbish year.”

“Oh, it wasn’t all that bad.” Gwen turned to Rhys and couldn’t help but smile; her body, already warm and flushed from the alcohol, heated up just that little bit more.

“Gwen.” Ianto pointed to her shoulder. “You’ve got Gerniivan on you.”

She tried to look, pulling her hair back out of the way, but couldn’t see anything. Jack leaned forward and slid his fingers up along her collar. His hand came away with a long string of pulpy purple alien viscera. He flicked it to the floor - not that anyone would notice with what had already been spilled. Gwen scrunched her face up in a grimace, like she might be sick. Rhys pushed her glass toward her.

“Drink up, you deserve it.”

She nodded, clutching the glass and taking a large gulp. All around them the people began chanting the countdown. She nearly choked, spluttering a bit, and set her glass down to join in at six. “Five. Four.” Rhys was counting right along beside her and she leaned into him.

Across the table, Toshiko was asleep on Owen’s shoulder. Jack raised his hand, cupped Ianto’s head and, pulling him close, whispered, “Two. One.”

“Happy New Year.”



( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Awww... cute!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
Dec. 31st, 2009 01:10 am (UTC)
Only the Torchwood team would have viscera stuck to their hair at a New Year's Eve party.

I really enjoyed this.

Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
he gets two! one for the front and one for the back!
thanks, glad you liked it!
Dec. 31st, 2009 02:04 am (UTC)
Loved the different POVs! And you are part of the Snuggie conspiracy! Admit it! :D
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
LOL i do not own a snuggie of my very own (nor does one own me)
glad you liked it!
Dec. 31st, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Alien guts are one thing, but Snuggies are just GROSS!

Fun, day-in-the-life kinda story. OK, WEEK rather than day, but I liked it. Not Earth-shattering, just a comfortable recounting with a little bit revealed about everyone and a nice implication of snogging at the end :)
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
snuggies are very clingy (i think they are aliens, very stealthy aliens!)
Dec. 31st, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
Hee! Nice slice of TW life. I love the part about Jack knowing about the Titanic and how Frame would be hot, Rhys loving Christmas (yes, he would) and them all trying to stay awake for New Year's.
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
oh, jack/alonso!
thanks, i'm glad you liked it!
Dec. 31st, 2009 05:08 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, he grinned and reached for a scalpel, this was going to be messy. - lulz!

also, MYFANWY!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:48 am (UTC)
Dec. 31st, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was simply PERFECT! Very, very much what I wanted, even if I didn't know it when I wrote my thoughts down. You've done a fine job with the whole "week in the life" style, including all of Team Torchwood, even the guard dog! :D

There are so many, many things I love about this.

1. TUESDNESDAY - Clever, and funny!
2. Ah, the lovely way Ianto asks Jack to come home with him! Sexy, soft, warm - I love the depth of their relationship this shows. And the scene for Christmas Day in Ianto's flat, with the plain room and Ianto's mysterious ugly quilt.
3. Rhys loving Christmas and... I note you ARE part of the Snuggy conspiracy. Hmm. :D
4. Owen's joy in viscera. Ah, Owen!
5. Don't think I missed the reference to Santa!

I love the week it covers, and the way it feels like a victory to have the original TW team ushering in the New Year - hope, renewal, life goes on. You've done a bang up job, anon, and I couldn't love this fic any more if I tried. It is a gem in my heart and I am tresuring it!

Thank you!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
i am so so so happy that you liked it!
(psst! it was me)
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
::glomp:: BB! ILU! (It's all misswinterhill's fault I'm talking like that and not in full sentences! She's teaching me scary, scary internet talk.)

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I had no idea it was you! Sneaky, sneaky kel!

(psst! I LOVED IT!) :P
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
this "interwbz speak" has infected us all!
so so really really glad you liked it ♥
Dec. 31st, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
This was absolutely lovely, anon. :) So, so, sweet! <333
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
thank you!!!
Dec. 31st, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
Awww, this is great! I know you struggled, anon, but the end result is something you can really be proud of. you hit the characters just right and I loved the details of things, like Rhys and Christmas, and Ianto's duvet. Those little things pull me in. I gave a little squee at the end. :D
Jan. 1st, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Ohh, did Anon struggle with this? Seriously? Because it is so smooth and together that I pegged it for one of the writers who churn things out effortlessly. Double kudos then.
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
oh, anon (me) struggled like you wouldn't believe!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:47 am (UTC)
thanks, BB! you helped a lot :)
Dec. 31st, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
this was so cute! i loved all of the different perspectives.
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Jan. 1st, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, I really enjoyed that! Yay for Myfanwy, and how much did I love, love, love the Rhys day? So, so, so much. The Rhys bit was wicked awesome! Happy to be w/ Gwen, excited about the snow, grumpy about Jack & TW, and clinging like mad to his snuggie. I love the man. Great job w/ Rhys!

Great job w/ all of it! I'm just super excited about Rhys. And hee to Owen looking forward to making a mess!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
the rhys and owen days are kinda my faves, too - they pretty much wrote themselves and i struggled the least there
glad you liked it!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh Kel! WHERE IS MY COMMENT? I read this like the other day--where did my comment go???? I was at work, probably closed it without posting. Idiot me.

Now, why were you worried, pumpkin? This is a wonderful fic! I'm with Blue--the Rhys day was my favorite. Esp. since it contains SNUGGIENESS! I swear, Snuggies are taking over the world. I also love Owen's. "I didn't get you anything." LOL. Loved his gleefulness.

I love the sweetness of the ending, too. Just...yeah. *beams*
Jan. 2nd, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
i am glad you liked it!
imma go pimp it in my lj later, with the story of how this fic came to be - you'll see!
Jan. 2nd, 2010 03:48 am (UTC)
Oh story time, awesome! Stories about how stories come about always intrigue me.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:02 am (UTC)
Gotta say, I'm loving the finished product here.
Jan. 3rd, 2010 05:09 am (UTC)
thanks, buddy! you helped!
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:16 am (UTC)
This was great!
Jan. 4th, 2010 11:21 am (UTC)
thank you :)
Jan. 4th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
ALONSO! Kel, you're psychic!

I love this, it's so sweet and fun.
Jan. 4th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
i know! i was very excited by that :)
thanks, man!
Jan. 4th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
This is so snuggly and awesome. ♥
Jan. 4th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
thank you :)
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
That was funny and so sweet! Wonderful!
Jan. 5th, 2010 05:35 am (UTC)
thank you :)
Jan. 5th, 2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
Snuggies are CLEARLY and alien conspiracy and someone needs to write a fic expounding on this ASAP.

Everything about this was great, from the cameo of Santa on Tosh's monitor to Myfanwy to Rhys' love for Christmas pudding to Jack knowing what was going to happen but not really (not that Titanic, the space one that everybody knows about--duh!). This line was probably my favorite:

He couldn’t help but laugh and wonder just how much of the history he knew was missing a little blue box.
Jan. 5th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
the snuggies are stealthily taking over the world!
thanks, i'm glad you liked it :)
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Alien Vscera on NYE - how very Torchwood.

Love this, Myfanwy's bit in particular made me smile.
Jan. 6th, 2010 12:52 am (UTC)
MYFANWY! lol your icon!
Jan. 6th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
“Alonso.” Jack smiled, thinking back. “Always wanted to meet him; he sounded hot. Trust me, it’s fine.”

How did you DO that???

I loved this on the first read, before EoT2, but even more now!
Jan. 6th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
aww, thank you :)
i think i can admit now that i actually wrote that titanic scene in 2008, over a year before finishing and posting this - i'm pretty sure it means that jack/alonso is totally meant to be (though, i'd throw alive!ianto in there, too, if i could)
Jan. 8th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
Wonderful Team story. Really lovely.

Jan. 9th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
thank you
( 47 comments — Leave a comment )