1. In the Warehouse.
It was one of those times that Ianto would look back on when he was an old man, if he even lived that long, as a moment that completely changed his life. A memory that changed him as a person. A memory that held so many mixed emotions that it gave Ianto a headache even just remembering it. That night, when he finally realised that joining Torchwood Three may end up being one of his greatest regrets, no matter how, or if, it benefited Lisa. As he tumbled along the hard concrete of the warehouse, gripping to this mysterious Captain Jack with his 51st century pheromones, and egg stained collar, it was only then that he began to fully comprehend what this new job would do to him. Working in such close proximity with a man that evoked such strong feelings in him, whilst doing everything he could to save Lisa. It just didn't seem possible.
And it was only then that he realised this was only the beginning of his betrayal to Lisa.
Ianto doesn't remember much about the exact moment Lisa was murdered. The first or the second time. He remembers hearing the sound of the gunshot reverberating throughout the air, bouncing off the damp walls and ringing in his ears, taunting him, the sound he will never forget. The sound that signalled the end of any hope for Lisa. He remembers kneeling in a pool of her blood, endless tears flowing freely as he sobbed, and cradled her body to his chest. But it wasn't even her body, it was encased in metal, the body and mind of a murderer. He knew deep inside that she was dead long before he had dragged her into the depths of the Hub, but he refused to listen to the nagging voice buried in the back of his mind, telling him to give up on her. She was a monster. No one could save her. Especially not some useless tea boy. He had tried so hard, knowingly putting the whole team's lives at risk, for the one girl he loved more than anything. He hadn't been thinking straight, and now he looks back on it, he can't believe his actions. He is ashamed of himself, of his behaviour.
But no matter how much he blames himself, he will always blame Jack just that little more. No matter how hard he fights to forgive the man, no matter how far he falls for him, he will never forget what Jack did. He realises that everyone would have died, the bloodshed multiplied, if Jack hadn't killed Lisa, but no matter how many times he tells himself, he never truly believes it.
Unsurprisingly, he chose to forget the mind altering kiss. Attempting to wipe it from his memory for as long as he saw fit. No matter how many times he found himself daydreaming of a repeat.
3. After the Cannibals.
Only a matter of weeks after he had put all of their lives in jeopardy, and already Jack had forgiven him. It was just a shame he hadn't forgiven himself.
Everyone had been taken home, the SUV gradually emptying as team member after team member filtered out of the car, leaving only Jack and Ianto to drive the night streets in silence. Eventually, Jack pulled up in front of Ianto's building, unclipping his seatbelt, and opening his door, stepping round the car to greet Ianto.
He invited himself in.
Ianto's flat was dull and dreary, boxes still piled in every available corner of every available room of the small flat. The walls remained plain, mahogany being the colour of choice, with no pictures, photographs, souvenirs of the young Welshman's 24 years of life to brighten the place up, give it even an ounce of character. The awkward silence was weighing down on Jack like a tonne weight, as he watched Ianto fidget uncomfortably with the buttons of his ruined shirt.
"We should get you cleaned up."
Ianto never questioned the use of 'we' in Jack's sentence, instead he followed his leader in to the bathroom, the white tiles and minimal decorations giving the small room a clinical feel, cold and unwelcoming in the harsh light of the uncovered bulb hanging from the centre of the ceiling.
Jack delicately undressed Ianto. Ianto let him.
The hot water nipped his skin, but he was too numb to care, and Jack ran the sponge over him with such tenderness that he wanted to scream at him. He was completely naked under the spray of the shower, and felt ridiculously vulnerable under Jack's gaze, but Jack had opted to keep his boxers on, sensing Ianto's uncertainty of the situation. The material was now so wet it clung to him, and Ianto fought to keep his eyes from wandering.
Afterwards, when Jack was towel drying him, patting the soft cotton over his flesh, now free from dirt and dried blood, Ianto closed his eyes and relished in the feel of Jack's hands on his skin, fully able to appreciate the touches without the numbing temperature of the water pelting off his skin. Jack pretended not to notice the small whimpers of pleasure escaping the Welshman's lips.
Jack stayed until he was sure Ianto was asleep, having borrowed a pair of Ianto's boxers, in place of his soaking wet ones, having dressed fully in his own clothes, and made sure Ianto had put one warm clothes for during the night. Ianto tried to complain, but secretly he was loving all the attention Jack was showering him with. The Captain sat on the edge of Ianto's bed, running his fingers through the younger man's hair as his eyes gradually grew heavier. When he was sure Ianto was fast asleep, he pressed his lips to Ianto's temple and left.
When he heard the click of the door closing, and the turn of Jack's key in the lock, Ianto's eyes flickered open, and he sighed, his head falling back on to the pillow. Despite his reservations and his efforts to convince himself he still hated the older man, he had secretly hoped he would have stayed, stripping and slipping into Ianto's bed, curling himself around Ianto. Yes, despite his best efforts, and without even knowing it, Jack had broken Ianto's hard for a third time.
4. Leaving With the Doctor.
Ianto had never told Jack exactly how much he had hurt him when he left without saying goodbye, and he doubted he ever would.
In the months of Jack's absence, Ianto tried so hard to get on as normal, although with everything he had went through in the past year, he wasn't entirely sure what 'normal' was. He tried to decorate his flat, make it feel more homely. He painted the walls different colours, finished unpacking all of the boxes, the bookshelf filling out, paintings decorating the walls, and photographs of family and friends proudly displaced on every available surface. Magnets soon scattered the fridge, and he stuck a notice board up on the kitchen wall, pining a picture of himself and Jack, along with memos and neon Post-It notes into the cork surface. He bought rugs, and cushions, lamps and light shades, and eventually he found that he could bare to spend more time in the place. It was finally a home.
He spent more time in the field, finally feeling like a fully fledged member of the team. He went out with Owen, Gwen and Tosh to the pub occasionally. And every so often he would go out to a club, dancing and drinking until eventually he got bored and picked some random person to take home. More often than not he found it to be men he picked, dark hair, sparkling blue eyes and a criminally charming smile. But as he lay there, sprawled out on some stranger's bed, panting, sweating and moaning, as some anonymous man lay above him, pushing in and out, grunting in some disgusting manor, Ianto always imagined Jack, remembering the feeling of Jack thrusting in to him for the first time, the feel of Jack coming in side him.
He always left before morning came.
When Jack finally came back, Ianto couldn't begin to describe how relieved he was. And he made it clear to Jack that it would take more than dinner and a movie to make it up to him.
And one time he did the exact opposite…
The smell of sex was heavy in Ianto's bedroom, as they lay recovering, catching their breaths, and basking in the afterglow of their recent activities.
Ianto rolled off of Jack, chuckling at the mess on his stomach. Jack rolled on to his side, brushing a stray curl of Ianto's dark hair away from his forehead, and stealing another quick kiss.
"You came back."
"Of course I did. I told you I would, didn't I?"
Ianto shuffled slightly down the bed, resting his head on Jack's chest, his hand drawing lazy patterns on his Captain's hip. It had been one hell of an eventful day, what with helping to save the world, yet again, and being introduced to his new team-mates - he had to admit the look on Mickey's face when Jack had pulled him in to a heated kiss had been priceless - but right now, in this precise moment, when it was only Jack and himself, curled up together, everything was forgotten. This was another one of those moments that would forever remain burned onto his memory, just the sheer perfection of it was enough to render it unforgettable.
Jack had only told him the basic details of his last trip with the Doctor, never going into detail of the pain and destruction he was victim to every day, but this time round, he eagerly told Ianto everything, vowing to tell Ianto anything he wanted to know from now on. He told of his reunion with Rose, and of the Doctor's spunky new companion, Donna Noble, with fiery hair to match her fierce personality. He told him about coming face to face with the biggest Dalek fleet he had ever set eyes on, and of the pain he had felt after being exterminated by a Dalek for the second time, leading to his journey through the incinerator. Every little detail. And Ianto noticed that for the most part of his excited recalling of the day's event's, he had a smile on his face. Jack had finally put whatever troubles he had with the Doctor behind him.
"Ianto?" Jack's voice was soft as it broke the silence.
"I love you."
Jack could feel Ianto's smile on his, as he pressed his face into his chest, kissing the soft skin. "I love you too."
And that's why Ianto knew that no matter how many times Jack broke his heart, he would always forgive him in the end. Because any pain in the world was worth it to hear Jack say those three little words.