TITLE: Just Because I'm Hurting Doesn't Mean I'm Hurt
AUTHOR: Erin Giles
DISCLAIMER: Torchwood is property of the BBC.
CHARACTERS/PAIRINGS: Tosh, implied Jack/Ianto
SUMMARY: Post Countrycide. Tosh doesn't want to be alone after what happened so she arrives on Ianto's doorstep with pizza, beer and DVDs. But it's not Ianto who answers the door to her.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yes, it is another post Countrycide fic. But this doesn't have the usual helping of angst on top - mostly. How many's that now? Six? Seven?
Toshiko balanced the pizza box in one hand, the bag full of beer and DVDs swinging beneath it as she reached up to ring Ianto'
Toshiko balanced the pizza box in one hand, the bag full of beer and DVDs swinging beneath it as she reached up to ring Ianto's doorbell. She watched a fuzzy blue shape approaching through the glass in the top half of the window. She had time to note how surprisingly agile the shape seemed for someone that had been beaten before the door was opening to reveal Captain Jack Harkness.
"Jack." Toshiko spoke with some surprise, hesitating. She tucked a stray hair behind her ear, unsure what to do now. She had expected Ianto to be alone when she arrived, had been expecting understanding in why she didn't want to be alone for the evening, and she had almost hoped to be welcomed with open arms by a rather battered Ianto. Now she was stood on the doorstep facing Jack she wasn't sure of herself anymore.
"Do you want to come in?" Jack asked, moving aside to make room for her to step through the door, but again she hesitated.
"I don't want to interrupt." Tosh mumbled, taking a half step back. She wasn't sure what she was interrupting, if she was interrupting anything, but she suddenly felt uncomfortable at the unexpected presence of Jack in Ianto's house.
"Nothing to interrupt. I was just doing the dishes. Ianto's in the living room." Jack encouraged, putting a warm hand on her shoulder. A part of Tosh wanted to leave them to whatever it was they had planned but it was overruled by the larger part of her that had a nauseous feeling in the pit of her stomach coupled with a cold feeling of loneliness and solitude when she thought of returning to her flat, alone.
Toshiko stepped into the hallway, listening to the quiet click as the front door shut behind her before she found herself being ushered into the living room. She was met with the sight of Ianto sprawled out on the couch, half of his face pressed into a cushion and Tosh could see just how vivid the bruises had become in the few hours since she'd been away from him. His eyes were closed and his breathing even as the TV continued to rumble in the background, oblivious to it's loss of viewer. Jack retrieved the remote from the coffee table and switched the television off before pulling the throw from the back of the couch and spreading it over Ianto.
Tosh had already retreated to the kitchen where she had placed the pizza on the table along with the bag.
"I brought pizza." Tosh offered, pointing to the box. "Vegetarian." She added as an afterthought which caused Jack to chuckle slightly.
"I think after today it may be a while before any of us are ordering the meat feast again." Jack replied, going to one of Ianto's drawers and fishing out a bottle opener which he offered to Tosh as she pulled a beer out of one of the bags. She opened the bottle, taking a long swig as she sat down at the kitchen table.
"I didn't think anyone would be here." Tosh said after a long moment.
"I came back after I'd dropped you all off. He should have gone to hospital, I was worried about him." Jack answered matter-of-factly, not taking his eyes off of Tosh who was now picking at one of the pizza slices.
"I didn't think, I mean after, I thought that…" Tosh couldn't bring herself to mention the whole debacle with the Cyberwoman in the basement, it was still so fresh in everyone's minds they hardly needed reminding.
Jack sighed. "I've not forgiven him if that's what you mean. Not for betraying me or Torchwood. He should have confided in me."
"Jack, he was scared and in love, he lived through Canary Wharf, you saw as well as I did what happened there." Tosh interrupted, stepping in to defend Ianto.
"I know Tosh, but he's got to build back that trust. But that doesn't mean he has to suffer in silence, that doesn't mean he has to be alone to get through it." Jack voiced, looking down at his hands. "He still hasn't forgiven me either you know." Jack added, looking back up at Tosh.
Tosh nodded, finally understanding that look that had passed between Jack and Ianto at the campsite the other day when Gwen had started that stupid game. Ianto had only mentioned Lisa to get at Jack, to remind him that Ianto still hadn't forgiven him for effectively killing his girlfriend; twice.
"So does that mean he was lying yesterday?" Tosh questioned as she took another slug of her beer to try and hide the smile that was forming.
Jack's eyes flashed brightly for a second, his mouth opening to answer Tosh before a yell from the living room split the air. Jack was out his seat in a flash, moving towards the living room, Tosh hurrying behind.
They found Ianto on the floor beside the couch, tangled in the blanket, clutching painfully at his side as he took in gasping breaths. Jack bent down so he was at eyelevel with Ianto, not touching him.
"Ianto." Jack stated his name firmly ducking his head slightly to catch Ianto's eye. Ianto looked up slightly, a wild look in his eyes as he regarded Jack.
"You ok?" Jack pushed, only now he had Ianto's attention reaching out a tentative hand which he placed on Ianto's shoulder. Ianto nodded hesitantly at first, still clinging onto his side as he tried to pull himself to his feet. Jack stepped in, hands under Ianto's armpits as he hauled him to his feet, steadying him when his legs threatened to give out. Jack pulled Ianto closer without thinking and Tosh watched and marvelled as Ianto put a hand round Jack's back in a rather intimate gesture rather than a steadying one.
Jack gently lowered Ianto back onto the couch so he was in a semi-reclined position, catching Toshiko out of the corner of his eye hovering by the door.
"Tosh brought pizza if you're hungry now?" Jack questioned, finally turning to regard Tosh. Ianto tried to twist on the couch to see her, trying to hide his discomfort.
"Tosh?" Ianto questioned as Tosh moved into his line of sight.
"Why don't you sit down and I'll bring the food and drink through." Jack suggested, moving away from the couch and out of the living room.
"I brought some films as well." Tosh called after him as she moved round the sofa so she was sitting next to Ianto.
"How you feeling?" Tosh asked as she settled herself on the couch, cuddling one of Ianto's cushions to her chest.
"A bit sore." Ianto answered with a wry smile. Tosh nodded, looking down at her lap before she spoke again.
"Thank you." Tosh said, placing a hand on Ianto's thigh, squeezing it slightly as she caught his gaze, smiling warmly at him.
"What for?" He asked, genuinely confused.
"For risking your life for me."
"I-" Ianto started, but barely got the first word out before Tosh was interrupting him.
"Yes you did." Tosh replied indignantly. "I thought you were following me Ianto, not sacrificing yourself so I could get free."
"Trust me Tosh I had every intention of following you. In retrospect though I probably shouldn't have head butted him; leaves you a bit dazed." Ianto joked, but Tosh could see the seriousness in his eyes. Her own gaze moved up to the goose egg on Ianto's forehead as Jack emerged back into the living room, putting the bag and the pizza down on the coffee table.
"Right you two choose something to watch while I finish the dishes and pee." Jack encouraged, handing over the selection of DVDs Tosh had brought round with her before leaving the room again.
"Jack I told you to leave the dishes." Ianto called, trying to crane over the back of the sofa and immediately regretting it as Jack returned to the living room.
"And that's for you." Jack said, pressing an ice pack wrapped in an 'I love Wales' tea-towel to Ianto's forehead.
"Thanks." Ianto sighed, wincing slightly at the cold and the sudden contact with his aching head. "Also when you go to the loo could you-"
"Bring down some painkillers?" Jack finished Ianto's sentence for him, nodding silently before he disappeared out the living room door again without a backward glance. Ianto smiled warmly at Jack's retreating back before he settled back into the couch, catching Tosh's enquiring look.
"When did you-" Tosh started then suddenly reconsidered her words. "Are you sleeping with him?" Tosh baulked at her own bluntness, but she was spurred on by the fact Ianto flushed red, averting his eyes.
"Sorry, lack of sleep makes me blunt." Tosh apologised, looking down at the DVDs she had in her hand.
"I brought Indiana Jones, The History Boys and your personal favourite Die Another Day." Tosh said, presenting Ianto with her choices. "Although I don't know why I brought James Bond since I know you've got every James Bond film ever made, including the Timothy Dalton one's."
"I've not slept with him yet." Ianto answered, surprising both Tosh and himself. Tosh didn't say anything, but she didn't miss the pointed yet Ianto added onto the end of his sentence. There was an uncomfortable silence before Ianto plucked Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade out of Tosh's hands.
"As much as I know I will be singing the theme tune for the next week I think we'll go for a good classic." Ianto remarked, pulling himself painfully to his feet and hobbling over to the DVD player and the television as Tosh pulled the pizza box and two beers from the table, opening them both. Ianto returned to the sofa, pulling the blanket from the floor with him and settling down beside Tosh, covering them both as he gratefully took the proffered beer.
"I'm sorry I came round tonight Ianto, I just didn't want to be on my own and I didn't imagine you would either. I just didn't think that there would be someone else round here; Jack of all people." Tosh apologised. Ianto smiled at her before wrapping an arm round her shoulders, pulling her into his uninjured side, kissing her forehead.
"It's fine Tosh, you know you're always welcome round here. And me and Jack," Ianto glanced briefly to the door in the lounge, maybe watching to see if Jack was returning so he wouldn't be overheard, maybe hoping he was, maybe just looking for the reassuring presence of Jack. "We've reached an understanding I think."
"Right, what are we watching?" Jack asked, re-appearing in the living room, showing no sign of having heard the exchange between Tosh and Ianto as he sat down on the other side of Toshiko.
"Indy meets Bond." Ianto announced, flicking on the DVD player so that the Indiana Jones theme tune invade Ianto's living room, filling it with life and light and distracting three people from their troubles both real and unreal.
By the time Indy was crashing through the window to rescue his father the pizza had gone cold, the beer had been drunk and the only person still awake was Jack. He turned off the DVD, no desire to watch the remainder of the film alone. He retrieved his coat from the back of the armchair, shrugging it on as he watched the figures on Ianto's couch relaxed in a deep sleep. He slipped out of Ianto's flat quietly, hesitating on the front doorstep, wishing he had the resilience to stay the night in Ianto's flat with his team members, his friends. His family.
Jack smiled as he moved off down Ianto's garden path, heading back up the street to the SUV he had abandoned earlier on. Apparently Jack's attempt at team building had not gone quite as horribly wrong as he had first thought.