Title: Lost Lips, Broken Bullets
Characters/Pairings: Jack, Ianto, team; Jack/Ianto
Spoilers: General references to TW series 1, TW 2x01 (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Warnings: M/M kissing, sexual tension. Mild violence to weevils
Summary: "Jack's back, John's gone and the team have to avoid themselves. The only place Jack can go is back to Ianto's flat, but there's something else that Ianto insists on avoiding with the Captain."

Disclaimer: I do not own characters or locations, Torchwood is property of Russel T. Davies, I just like to play!


Chapter 1

Ianto had stayed pretty much silent since John disappeared. He was trying not to think about what he'd done just before he stepped through the Rift. Ianto had long since come to terms with the fact that Jack had a different take on the meaning of monogamy, but it didn't stop the small buzz of jealousy.

The team, under Jack's orders, were dispersing. Owen and Tosh took the convertible, dropping Gwen off at her flat and then to Owen's apartment where they'd get a cab to the hospital for Owen to get checked over. Jack and Ianto stood watching them go. It wasn't until Jack's carefully drawn mask flickered and cracked a little that Ianto realised he must be in huge amounts of pain. Jack always took a while to heal fully from a death, and it took longer when he was tired. Knowing that Jack being in pain was more important than their unsteady 'relationship', Ianto walked round to the passenger door of the SUV and held it open for him.

"Sir, we'd better get moving. Hart's going to turn up any minute now." Jack looked up at him, wincing as he twisted his back a little. Ianto just raised an eyebrow. "You can't exactly go back to the hub, we're all there at the moment. You'll have to come back to my flat for the night."

On any other day, in any other situation, Jack would've taken this to be a good sign. Tonight, noting the look on Ianto's face, the careful, composed expression he wore during work hours, it was not the time for flirtatious banter. So, instead of making an innuendo, Jack nodded and climbed into the SUV uneasily, trying to play down the sheer pain rippling through his muscles and bones.

They made the drive in a comfortable silence, Jack staring out of the window as his mind started to wander to the meaning behind John's parting words. Ianto just kept his mind blank, eyes on the road. Eventually, he slowed and parked the car on the street outside his building, jerking Jack out of his reverie. By the time he was completely aware of what was going on, Ianto was opening his door for him and helping him out, gripping his arms firmly as another twinge in his back made Jack stumble.

The silence continued as Ianto lead the way into building and up the small, third floor flat. As soon as Ianto had removed his own shoes and coat, he helped Jack with his, noting the tension in his stance, the taught facial expression and the slightly clouded gaze. Next, he took Jack's hand and pulled him gently through the flat to the bathroom, sitting him on the closed toilet and kneeling down by the bath tub.

"Ianto-" Jack started, Ianto interrupting him almost immediately.

"You died and your back is obviously killing you. You can give me the details later. Right now, you need to have a bath and sleep." He spoke with his work voice: casual and slightly sarcastic, usually enough to make Jack melt completely. Usually. That tone of voice in the privacy of his flat was not common, and it was enough for Jack to sense danger.

"Ianto, we need to-" Ianto cut across him again, standing up and turning, meeting his eyes.

"Later, Jack." The tone was strong in Ianto's voice, making Jack nod once before watching Ianto leave the room. He turned, careful not to aggravate his back and slowly, gingerly pulled his braces off and started to unbutton and remove his shirt, listening to the crash of the water fill the tub.

Ianto returned, a few minutes later, with two mugs of coffee. He silently took in the sight of the almost full, steaming tub and turned the taps off before moving to Jack. The captain was currently slumped to the side, biting back tears of pain, irritation and exhaustion. He was sitting there with his shirt open and pulled half off one of his shoulders. He'd been attempting to remove it when his back gave a snarl of protest, sending spasms of pain into his ribs and along his spine. He'd tried twice more, with the same effect, and given up.

He didn't even open his eyes when he heard the water stop and the soft footsteps getting closer. He didn't respond until he felt Ianto's strong, gentle hands pulling him up a little, so he could get behind him. He tried to turn his head, but at the first sign of it, Ianto held him still.

"Let me help you with that." Ianto spoke quietly, the soft sound of his voice instantly easing Jack's overwhelming feeling of helplessness. He sat still, letting the same, strong hands manipulate his limbs carefully, sliding the shirt free and then his undershirt, which was a damn sight harder to get out of.

Ianto sucked in a breath at the sight of Jack's abused back, purple and black from the bruising, the discolouration radiating out from the middle. He ran his fingers over the damaged skin, careful not to apply any pressure. He heard a faint groan of appreciation from Jack and smiled in spite of himself.

No, not tonight. Ianto told himself firmly, removing his fingers from the bruising and kneeling down to pull Jack's socks off. He gathered up the clothes and dumped them in the dirty clothes bin, before turning to look at Jack.

"I'm going to go sort some things out. I think you left some clothes here, so I'll go and dig some out if I can find them." He found himself looking at Jack, their eyes locked in a way that made Ianto's heart ache. He'd missed that connection so desperately that he almost fell back to how he'd been before. He shook himself mentally and carried on. "Just give me a call if you need me."

He smiled briefly before leaving the room, pulling the door to behind him. He sighed heavily and moved off to his bedroom to go through the motions of finding Jack's clothes. In reality, the drawer that Jack had filled with spare shirts, trousers and underwear had remained untouched in his absence. Ianto wasn't ready for Jack to see just how much he'd missed him quite yet.