(A/N: Long time reader, first time writer. This is just a little one shot. My first Torchwood fanfic, so I decided to start off easy.)
Disclaimer: I don't have John Barrowman locked in a closet somewhere…or Gareth David-Lloyd…sadly. And since I have never written a single episode of Torchwood, I suppose I have to admit that I don't own anything.
It wasn't the sex. Really, it wasn't…OK, that might be part of it. But there was more. Oh, so much more. Maybe it was his smile. Or the mystery of the man. There was always more to discover about him, always another secret waiting to be revealed that was just out of sight. Or maybe it was the way he looked in the sunlight or the moonlight or really in anything (or nothing at all). Maybe he was just so unlike anyone Ianto had ever met before that even the idea of Jack held Ianto in a startling state of fascination. It could have been any one of these things, but he knew none of them were it.
Ianto knew exactly what it was. It was that Jack, for some unknowable explanation, made him happy. It was that plain and simple. He loved Jack's little remarks, sometimes blatant sometimes not, about what exactly they did after everyone else had gone home. It made Ianto feel as if he shared something with Jack that the others didn't, something special. Which he supposed that he did. Ianto even loved making him coffee. There was something about that look on Jack's face when Ianto had made the coffee just right. Of course, Ianto always made his coffee perfect, but that look, as if Jack never wanted to drink any other coffee than Ianto's ever again, sent a little thrill through his heart.
He would never tell Jack that he loved him, even though at this point, Ianto knew it was true. He had been in denial for a while, but it had become incredibly painfully true. It had become so true that he knew he could never say anything to anyone about it. It was such a twisted conclusion he had come to, but it made sense in his head somehow. He loved Jack, but he had nothing to offer him. Ianto was going to die someday, even if he managed to avoid all the hazards that went with working for Torchwood and all the health issues in the entire world, he would still die of old age. That day seemed far away to Ianto, but Jack had already lived through centuries, many different centuries. Jack had seen people come and go and the only thing that stayed was him, because he was immortal. Ianto could tell from the look on Jack's face every once and a while that he didn't want more than what they had. Jack cared for Ianto, of course, cared for him deeply. But over the long years, Jack had cut himself off from that final step of actually loving someone and pledging to be with them forever. Because Jack's forever was a whole lot longer than anyone else's.
Ianto understood this, and he had led himself to a gradual acceptance of it. If he had fallen in love with anyone else, any normal mortal human, he would have pushed for something more between them. But because Jack was so different, a fact Ianto loved and hated and was obsessed with, he didn't. He loved him so much he would push his feelings down farther and farther. Maybe it was emotionally damaging to do that, but it didn't feel right to love Jack in the first place. It didn't feel right to love anyone, or even enjoy anything, since Lisa. Oh, his poor, poor Lisa.
That was another thing making his relationship with Jack so complicated. He had thought when he fell for Lisa that he would never, ever be able to love anyone but her again for the rest of his life. And when she had died, he thought that he would be permanently broken. He had thought he would spend the rest of his days in a blur of grief and tears. And perhaps he still would. To this day, there was still something empty in his heart and his soul since she had gone, and even Jack couldn't fill it. Though Jack had fixed him a lot, more than he ever thought possible, Ianto would never be complete without Lisa.
And so there was his situation with Jack, that astonishing immortal man, and the second love of his life. Only there was not room for a second love of your life. The phrase sort of implied that there can only be one. Jack was an unexpected twist in Ianto's amazingly predictable love life. It had been simple before. Ianto was going to marry Lisa, and they would be together forever. There was no room for other people. No need to feel the pain and confusion of falling in love all over again. They would be happy forever.
But everything had gone wrong. So many things, and so fast, too. And now Ianto loved Jack, and even thinking those words made him feel guilty, and he knew that Jack would never be able to return his feelings. And yet as Ianto realized all of this, he suddenly felt a certain amount of enlightenment. This situation wasn't nearly as complicated as he had first believed. He would hide his feelings for Jack until they went away, because there was no future for a couple like them, no matter how many fantasies he had involving a quaint little house in the country. He could enjoy the time they had together, as long as it would last, but nothing more. And suddenly he didn't feel nearly so guilty or so confused. In fact, this may have just turned into the simplest relationship he had ever been in. It was nothing but sex and strong…friendship, for lack of a better word. Who would have thought shagging the boss could be so easy?
Jack's shout reverberated throughout the hub.
"Everyone else went home half an hour ago, where are you?" His tone was very impatient.
"Sorry, didn't realize they'd left, I'll be right up," Ianto shouted back. Had he really been that absorbed in his thinking he hadn't even noticed everyone else leave? "Need anything before I come up?"
"Still got that stopwatch? We haven't used that in a while." Ianto could tell Jack was grinning even though he couldn't see him.
Yes, this whole situation was incredibly easy.