In the end, everything seemed to just fall neatly into place, which Jack had no complaints with. After the recent chaos, it was a pleasant change to have everything work out to everyone's advantage.

Anna gave her blessing to Jal and Kyrii for their decision to go with Jack and Eleya to Earth, and the Doctor promised to bring them home to Mendyr whenever they wished. It was decided that the couple would be set up in a house close to Jack and Ianto's home, and they would take care of Eleya when the two men were working. It solved the issue of the appropriateness of having a child in the Hub, and allowed for plenty of time to teach Eleya basic control of her abilities before she became old enough to go to Kindergarten. It also allowed for Jal and Kyrii to spend significant time with the little girl that they loved.

It was a win-win situation all round.

Joss needed little convincing to agree to join the Torchwood team. He liked Bobby and was quickly coming to like Alex just as much. The two former detectives were enthusiastic about having Joss join them, and even the Doctor conceded that the man's knowledge could only benefit the new Torchwood outpost. From Joss's perspective, he was just grateful to have the opportunity to make a new life for himself, and to be doing something meaningful without the threat of the Time Agency hanging over his head.

Their departure from Mendyr saddened Jack, but unlike the last time it didn't break his heart. He knew that he would see Mendyr again and the certainty of that knowledge comforted him. Having Jal and Kyrii with them was also a comfort, one that was welcomed by both Jack and Ianto.

There was, however, still some unfinished business to attend to, which Alex reluctantly brought up in the control room of the TARDIS.

"I'm not sure if this is the right way to ask," she said tentatively, "but when will we be landing? And I don't mean how long it'll take. It's just, there might be a bit of a mess that needed cleaning up that isn't exactly suitable for certain eyes."

"The Time Agent that was... left behind," Ianto murmured. Alex was right and of course they'd all forgotten in the chaos of unfolding events.

"We'll be landing on the Plass," the Doctor answered, "approximately an hour after we left. Perhaps some of you might like to take Eleya for some ice cream while Jack and I deal with... it."

"I'll help you," Bobby offered. Jack started to reject the offer, but changed his mind at the last moment.

"I'd appreciate that. Thank you."

Ianto, Jal, Kyrii, Gwen, Tosh and Donna took Eleya for the promised ice cream. Bobby and Owen returned to the Hub with Jack and the Doctor.

"I just hope the bloody pterodactyl hasn't tried to eat him," Owen said curtly.

"I've got a strong stomach," Bobby reassured him, and Owen smirked.

"Wasn't worried about you, mate."

"Don't be rude," Jack chided. "I'm sure we're all capable of dealing with a little bit of... mess. Besides, Ianto trained Myfanwy well. She won't eat anything that's not covered in her protein sauce."

The smirk quickly faded from Owen's face as unwanted memories came to the fore.

"Right," he said. "Let's get this over with, shall we?"

Both Bobby and the Doctor were able to make an educated guess that the sudden tension between Jack and Owen alluded to something serious, and both chose not to pursue it. Instead, they descended on the lift in silence, until they finally came within sight of the body.

"No sign of decomp," Bobby observed as they approached the body.

"Or signs of being eaten," Owen remarked with audible relief. "Rigor mortis has only just started to set in. We can't have been gone from here even an hour."

The Doctor looked smugly at Jack.

"I trust there'll be no more jokes about my driving skills?"

Jack held his hands up defensively.

"Not saying a word. Owen, head downstairs and get the furnace going."

"He's not going in the vault?" Owen wondered in surprise.

"The body has to be disposed of," Jack said firmly. "It, and everything on it. He's not from this time. There are too many risks of a paradox if we don't incinerate him."

"I take it he had no family, then?" Bobby asked. Jack shook his head, marvelling quietly that while that was normally a question Gwen would ask, he couldn't imagine Gwen asking it without sounding angry, accusatory and demanding. Coming from Bobby, it was just a simple question, with no expectations attached to it.

"No. Not many Time Agents did. I was one of the few who was recruited with family still living."

Again, Jack's words alluded to a fascinating story, but Jack never elaborated and his companions never asked. They carried the body to the incinerator in silence, and didn't speak a word until the task was done.

"Not the most pleasant of jobs," the Doctor remarked once they'd finished cleaning up both the Hub and themselves.

"But one that's necessary," Jack said, looking pointedly at Bobby as he spoke. The big American looked unperturbed, and simply shrugged.

"I'm prepared for it. So is Alex."

"It's not a preferable part of the job," Jack said, talking again to the Doctor, "but sometimes it's something that we just have to do. To give credit where it's due, it's because of Gwen that we give the dead a lot more dignity than we used to. Before she joined, we just covered up deaths and we didn't care. Deaths still have to be covered up, but the dead are treated with respect, thanks to Gwen."

"Good for her, then," the Doctor murmured approvingly.

They were crossing the floor of the Hub to the lift when a piercing cry split the air, and Myfanwy landed with a thud in front of them.

"There you are, you beautiful thing," the Doctor crooned enthusiastically, reaching out towards her. He was quick to jump back, though, when she snapped irritably at his outstretched hand. "Oi!"

Owen chortled in amusement.

"Glad to see it isn't just me, then," he retorted. Jack laughed softly.

"She just doesn't know you, Doctor. That's all. Isn't that right, sweetheart?" He rubbed her affectionately along her beak, and down her neck, inducing strange warbling noises from her. "Good girl, Myfanwy. You protected your nest beautifully."

Bobby approached as well, and joined Jack in stroking the pterodactyl's neck.

"Thank you for saving Alex. Tomorrow, I'm going to bring in some chocolate, just for you."

"Oh, that's lovely," Owen retorted. "She's known me longer, but I still can't get near her without nearly losing a limb."

"Get over it, Owen," Jack told him unsympathetically as Myfanwy hopped away and launched herself back into the air, circling back up towards her eyrie.

Owen shook his head.

"Okay, so what's the plan now?"

"We get Jal and Kyrii settled," Jack mused as they rode the lift back up to the Plass. "We deal with clean-up at this end... I get the feeling we're going to have to do a lot of smoothing over with the local police... I might also see if Tosh can work out a program for teaching Eleya English. We need to get Joss trained, as well as continuing with yours and Alex's training, Bobby... I'll need to find somewhere for Joss to live in New York, too. I don't want him living on-site the way I used to."

"He can stay with me to start with," Bobby offered. "I have a spare bedroom in my apartment, and it'll give him a chance to get acclimatised to the city."

Jack nodded in approval.

"That'll give me a bit more time to get things organised."

"You mean, it'll give Ianto more time," Owen retorted. Jack rolled his eyes in a gesture that was eerily reminiscent of his younger lover, but didn't argue.

It was a happy, boisterous group that awaited them at the ice cream parlour. Jack was not in the least bit surprised to find Eleya seated comfortably on Ianto's lap, with an enormous ice cream sundae in front of her.

"I'm not going to ask who's responsible for this," Jack said wryly as he sat beside his partner and their daughter.

"It was a joint effort," Ianto chuckled, accepting without reservation the kiss Jack leaned in to give him.

"Dada," Eleya said brightly, lifting an over-loaded spoonful towards Jack. Grinning, he opened his mouth to receive it, only to end up with most of it on his face. Eleya giggled wildly, happily oblivious to the mixed groans and laughter when Ianto dead-panned that he'd help him clean up later on. Jack accepted a napkin from one of his team and a hug from his little girl, at the same time marvelling that for once, life seemed pretty damn good.

"All right?" Ianto asked softly, catching Jack's hand and squeezing it lightly. Jack paused to look around them before answering. He was surrounded by old friends and new; he had a family, where not so long ago he'd abandoned any thought or hope of ever having family with him again.

For the time being, at least, life didn't seem quite so bleak. He looked into Ianto's concerned eyes and smiled -- not the blinding, thousand mega-watt smile that everyone was used to, but the small and genuine smile that reflected his happiness and contentment better than any words could. The two men smiled at each other without needing to speak. Everything they were thinking and feeling was communicated easily to each other through their bond.

They would continue to train Bobby and Alex, and now Joss as well, in preparation for them running Torchwood Five. Jal and Kyrii would be settled in Cardiff and papers and documents would be prepared to identify them officially as Jack's parents; and, most importantly, Eleya was finally where she belonged.

For the time being, life was good.


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