Toshiko was the first to leave. To be totally honest she felt like the group were excluding her a bit and she didn't fancy forcing herself on them for any longer than possible. As she cleared up her desk to leave Owen had offered to buy her a drink at the pub, which she'd curtly refused.
Jack had noted the slightly hurt and confused look on Owen's face before he noticed Jack was watching and turned away. He'd then asked Gwen if she was doing anything and after a glance that clearly said 'guilty' at Jack she shrugged and agreed to go with Owen.
Jack found it a little annoying that Gwen and Owen thought their affair would go unnoticed. It was quite obvious that the change in them had occurred because they were spending a bit too much quality time together. Jack felt sorry for Rhys. The poor man really had no idea what was going on.
Sighing, Jack wandered back to his office as Ianto came out of his cubby hole to tidy up the hub. Jack glanced at his computer, a hundred and one files open that he'd been researching earlier. He closed the whole thing down, unable to look at it any longer.
He tidied away the clutter on his desk, carefully checking the coral that he had managed to salvage from the rift, to grow his own… He stopped his thoughts there, the memory too painful.
Someone from the doorway cleared their throat and Jack looked up, hiding any surprise.
"I was… I was just coming to clean your office, sir," Ianto said quietly, holding up the black bag he was clutching by way of explanation.
"Oh, I've already done it," Jack said scratching his neck awkwardly.
"Are you alright, sir?" Ianto asked, walking over to the desk slowly and removing the empty mugs that several hours previously had contained Ianto's special coffee blend.
"I'm fine," Jack replied unconvincingly. "And, you can stop calling me sir, Ianto."
"Sorry… Jack," Ianto kept his eyes down intending to move as quickly as possible from Jack's office with the dirty mugs.
"Ianto," Jack said before the younger man had time to disappear. Ianto stopped turning back to look at Jack. "Have you been sleeping?"
Jack had noticed the dark circles under Ianto's eyes when he'd collected the mugs, despite Ianto's best efforts to hide them. Ianto shook his head slightly, the scars the cannibals in the country had inflicted still visible.
"Have been to the doctor to see about those wounds?" Jack asked, knowing full well that there were several wounds that were hidden beneath Ianto's clothes.
"I'm fine, Jack," Ianto said a little too quickly for Jack's liking.
He nodded and let the welsh man continue his cleaning. Jack himself went to his cupboard and found his first aid supplies, all of which were brand new and unopened. He had no need for them since he healed unusually fast and Owen had his own supply for the rest of the team.
As Ianto finished the washing up and was preparing to leave, he found Jack in his way, armed with what looked like Owen's store cupboard.
"My office, now," Jack said firmly and Ianto marched obediently back the way he'd come.
He sat down in one of the two chairs Jack had set up and Jack sat in the other, regarding his friend carefully.
"I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and give you a little counselling, see if we can't heal a few of those mental scars," Jack said setting down his kit and pulling out a bottle of antiseptic and some cloth. "Right, hand me a wrist."
Ianto decided there wasn't much point in arguing with Jack. He could be very persuasive when he wanted and Ianto suspected that Jack would simply drug him and check him over if he tried to leave. Not that Ianto didn't appreciate the effort; after all he had threatened to let Jack die if he ever had the chance to save his life. They both knew that it had been said in the heat of the moment and wasn't true, but it still hurt them both.
He extended his left arm, deep welts cut into it from the rope he'd been bound with. Jack began gently cleaning the wound gently, tutting slightly as he did so.
"Why did you lie Ianto?" Jack asked, not looking up from Ianto's hand. Ianto could feel Jack's grip tighten ever so slightly as though he thought Ianto would try and leave.
"About what?" Ianto asked though he knew exactly what Jack was talking about.
"About the last person you kissed," Jack replied almost casually.
Ianto didn't answer for a moment. Jack looked up briefly; simply to take Ianto's other hand.
"Because, I didn't want the others to know," Ianto said carefully, wincing as Jack wiped the antiseptic over his wrist.
"Sorry," Jack said looking up momentarily. "Why didn't you want them to know?"
Ianto shifted uncomfortably, flexing his fingers awkwardly. Jack let go of Ianto's wrist and put the antiseptic bottle down for a moment, looking Ianto in the eye.
"Because I didn't know how I felt about it," Ianto said not meeting Jack's gaze.
Jack didn't say anything else deciding not to press the subject. Ianto rubbed his wrists sitting back slightly in his chair.
"Shirt off," Jack said finally.
"What?" Ianto stared at him wide eyed.
"I've seen you clutching your side when you think no one's looking," Jack continued. "Shirt off."
Ianto looked at him with a pained expression. He was sure this counted as sexual harassment and he wasn't sure how much longer he could resist Jack. He, very reluctantly, removed his shirt, the numerous bruises and cuts still fresh and painful.
"Why didn't you get these looked at sooner?" Jack asked, his voice full of concern, their conversation forgotten.
"Owen was too busy checking Gwen," Ianto replied, sounding slightly hurt. "He didn't have time for me or Tosh."
"Is Tosh ok?" Jack asked as he began his wound cleaning routine on Ianto's back.
"Yeah, not as bad as me," Ianto admitted. Jack's hand rested for a moment on Ianto's shoulder, squeezing reassuringly.
"You shouldn't keep yourself so closed off," Jack said, his hands working wonders on Ianto's sore back.
"I held you lot at gunpoint," Ianto reminded him.
"And you make a fantastic cup of coffee," Jack replied. "Don't think I haven't realised just how hard you've been trying to make it up to everyone."
Ianto smiled slightly.
"Yeah well," Ianto shrugged, which was hard to do with such sore shoulders, though Jack's massaging was certainly helping to relieve the pain. "When I woke up the next morning I regretted the whole thing. Well… not trying to save Lisa… but everything else. I think I already knew that she was gone. I've known for months. I've been grieving for her since the Torchwood incident; I think it was just the thought of you being so harsh…"
"Me?" Jack asked slightly confused.
"Well I'd always held you in such high regard and… I couldn't bear the thought that you would despise Lisa so much you'd kill her," Ianto sighed. "I know it had to be done. I just wish it hadn't been you."
Jack smiled slightly to himself, a little confused, but at the same time pleased with what Ianto had said.
"You realise that is highly inappropriate Ianto," Jack said in mock seriousness. Ianto chuckled.
"Yes, but so are your constant passes at me," Ianto retorted.
"You can't tell me you don't enjoy them?" Jack asked his tone very flirtatious.
"Of course I do," Ianto said before he could stop himself. He felt Jack's hands pause on his back before they resumed their wound cleaning.
"Is that why you lied?" Jack asked returning to his first question. "Because you thought the other wouldn't understand how you could be so protective of Lisa back then and so hopelessly in love with me now?"
"I'm not hopelessly in love!" Ianto protested, turning round. Jack raised an eyebrow and started wiping antiseptic on Ianto's chest.
"You're certainly quick to deny it," Jack replied, able to feel Ianto's heart was beating at three times the normal speed.
"Yeah well," Ianto was suddenly very aware of just how tantalising Jack's fingers felt running up and down his chest.
"I think that was the wittiest comeback I've ever heard," Jack said laughing slightly. Ianto turned red, looking anywhere that wasn't Jack.
"Jack," he began but didn't finish his sentence. He suddenly found his lips pressed up against Jack's. He wasn't sure who exactly had started it, but neither seemed in any hurry to finish it.
Jack and Ianto had known each other a long time. Ianto had been there to pick up the pieces when Jack had another bout of depression, or when his moods got out of control. So it was only a matter of time before they finally gave into the feelings that had been brewing since day one.
Despite the slight problem of being immortal and being guaranteed to outlive any partner he might have, Jack had been unable to resist Ianto. He'd been so sweet, kind and loyal it was impossible for Jack not to have feelings for the man. He'd decided that if he had to live forever he might as well enjoy the time he got with certain people.
When Toshiko, Owen and Gwen turned up for work the next day they all noticed the change in both Jack and Ianto. Notes were sent via the computers all day wondering what had gone on the pervious night.
When questioned Ianto said that he and Jack had simply had a heart to heart; Owen however made a comment about this which got them all thinking and at the end of the day when she was finishing her packing up, Gwen spotted Ianto in Jack's office, talking to him in a low voice, looking suspiciously like he was telling Jack something extremely private.
It was a pity Gwen left so quickly to tell Toshiko and Owen the update. If she'd stayed just a few minutes longer, hidden away, she would've seen Jack and Ianto sneak out the hub, hands linked as they headed back to Ianto's flat.