Set before Children of Earth

"See you tomorrow!" Gwen called. Jacked waved and watched her leave. He walked into the kitchen area and saw Ianto sitting at the table, hands clasped under his chin staring into space. He didn't notice Jack walk up behind him.

"Penny for them!" Jack shouted grabbing Ianto by the shoulders. Ianto let out a loud yell and jumped.

"Jack what the hell!"

Jack grinned. "Sorry couldn't help it". He sat down as Ianto glared at him. "So what has got you thinking so deeply?"

Ianto sighed. "I've been thinking about death".

Jack looked at him puzzled. "Why?"

Ianto looked down. "You died today".

"And I'm here and fine as you can see. Yeah dying by weevil mauling isn't pleasant but I'm ok".

Ianto shook his head. "That's not what I mean". He looked at Jack. "Don't you think one day it might be permanent? That even what you call a simple death like getting shot etc could be your last one?".

Jack shrugged. "The Doctor didn't seem to think so. He says I'm a fixed point. I'm not going anywhere".

"But there must still be limits. You can't survive everything. What about if you were blown up?".

Jack laughed. "I have been during two world wars. Still here!".

"But what if your whole body was blown apart? If someone planted a bomb in you and blew you up from the inside out. How could you come back from that? Not even you could surely!".

Jack shrugged again. "To be honest Ianto I haven't thought about it. I don't know how anyone could implant a bomb in me anyway without my knowledge. And in the very unlikely event it did happen, I'm sure I'd come back somehow. I've regrown limbs before".

"You can't grow back from nothing though can you?" Ianto said quietly. "I can't see how you can come back from that".

Jack took Ianto's hands into his and felt them shaking slightly. "Ianto what is this all about? Why all these thoughts?".

"I was just thinking what I would do if you did die and didn't come back. It's my worst nightmare. What would I do Jack?". Ianto looked up and Jack was surprised to see tears in his eyes.

"You would move on. The earth doesn't stop spinning for anyone, not even me. You will continue to live your life. You will move on and find someone who will love the amazing you, be it a man or a woman. Someone you can share your life with and love and be loved by. Someone like you will never be alone".

Ianto shook his head. "I can't move on. How can I? I love you so much I would break if I lost you for good".

"Ianto," Jack said gently. "You loved Lisa didn't you,? You loved her so much you risked your life to rescue her from the Cybermen, got a job here and brought her into the basement, spent all your free time caring for her and bringing a specialist in. You couldn't even kill her even when I ordered you to. You loved her. And yet here you are, here and now. You didn't feel it at the time did you,?,".

Ianto shook his head.

,"Exactly. And now here you are. In a relationship. In love and happy. Doesn't mean you didn't love her. Of course you did. But you have moved on. And you will do the same if anything happened to me. But it won't. I'm not going anywhere Ianto ok? So please don't worry about it".

Ianto nodded and wiped his eyes with a tissue he pulled from his jacket pocket. "What about you Jack?".

"What about me what?".

"Have you ever thought about me dying? What you would do after?".

Ianto thought he saw a flash of pain on Jack's face but it disappeared as soon as he saw it.

"Ianto Jones. I intend to stay with you even when you are old and grey and will probably end up killing you by causing you to have a heart attack whilst shagging".

Ianto burst out laughing. "What a way to go! I wouldn't mind that!. Interesting death certificate and gravestone. Cause of death: Being shagged by an immortal time traveller from the 51st century".

Jack laughed. "But seriously Ianto. I enjoy the here and now. In fact" he leaned close and whispered in Ianto's ear. "I would like to enjoy some time with you down in the bunker". Ianto shivered and smiled.

"I think I would like to enjoy some time with you as well" Ianto said with a wink. They stood up and headed to the bunker.

Jack was glad he had managed to change the subject. He didn't want to tell Ianto that anytime he thought about Ianto dying, young or old, broke his heart. That he didn't know what he will do when the inevitable happens. He prayed Ianto will live to a ripe old age. He couldn't think about it. He honestly could not say what he would do without Ianto Jones in his life. He hoped that neither of them would have to find out their worst fears.