Title: To Be Forsaken or Deserted
Author: Vera Steine
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, never will… ah, if only… They belong to the BBC and RTD.
Rating: K+ (PG)
Spoilers: Meat (tiny), Parting of the Ways (Doctor Who)
Author's notes: a little something that came to mind after watching "Parting of the Ways". I thought such a traumatic event would stay with Jack, and it tied in nicely with "Meat". Hope you enjoy this, please let me know what you think!
The title comes from the dictionary definition for the word "to abandon".
Gwen had stormed out over an hour ago. Ianto had done every administrative and cleaning task he could think of, and now he was unable to put it off any longer. He and Jack had only been back together for about five days, and Ianto hadn't quite found his footing in their -- relationship -- again. But he knew he didn't want to go home tonight without at least making sure he and Jack were okay.
Jack had left the hub some time ago, saying he needed to think and would be back later, but Ianto usually knew where to find him, and did so again without fail. It didn't take a genius to follow Jack up to the top of the water tower, coat wrapped around his body against the strong winds, staring out over night-time Cardiff. Ianto closed the door with a loud click, announcing his presence. Jack didn't respond, but his shoulders shifted in such a way that Ianto knew his arrival had registered.
Hugging his own coat to his body against the strong winds, he went over to Jack, and stood by Jack's side for a moment without saying a word. Then he broke the silence. "She'll be back, Jack."
Jack looked at him sideways. "You think?" he shot back sarcastically.
Ianto shrugged, unperturbed. "You don't turn your back on this."
Jack stared back at night-time Cardiff. After a moment, he said abruptly, his voice slightly muffled, "Don't abandon me, Ianto."
Ianto was surprised, not only because it was the last thing on his mind, but also because Jack hardly had a right to ask that of him. He replied, trying to keep his voice level, "Shouldn't I be saying that?"
Jack glanced at him again, and didn't speak for a while.
Ianto braced himself against a gush of cold wind, wondering how long he would stay up here freezing his arse off if Jack was in such a mood tonight. He was still debating whether or not to turn away, when Jack spoke.
"I left you, but you were with the team, you were all together. You could rely on each other, you could figure it out together. And you would move on." Jack looked at him, not glancing this time, meeting his eyes dead on. "I'm not going to apologise for what I did."
Ianto willed himself to remain calm, and replied neutrally, "I'm not asking you to. I have never asked you to."
Jack stared at the floor for a moment before looking back up. "I know, you haven't."
"Why ask me for this then?" Ianto shot back, some anger creeping into his voice in spite of his best efforts.
Jack held his eyes for a moment and said, "I've been abandoned once, left behind on my own in the middle of nowhere. I can't do that again."
The shadow across Jack's face was real, and whatever he was talking about, which usually involved a long, complicated and incredible story, Ianto was sure it had happened. Jack had lived a long time, and in that long life he'd been hurt. No one knew Jack's defences better than Ianto did, coming up against them as often as he had. "I'm sorry," he offered.
"It's a long time ago."
"Today made you think of it," Ianto guessed.
Jack nodded. "Yes, it did. But it's not important now."
They both stared out over Cardiff for a while, Ianto shivering slightly, but trying not to let on, not wanting to break the moment. Eventually Jack said, "How did you know I would be up here?"
"You're good on roofs," Ianto recited from memory. "You're usually up here when you need time to think."
Jack turned to look at him, and seemed to really see him for the first time. "You've got to be freezing."
Ianto shrugged. "I've got my coat."
"Nonsense," Jack said instantly, unbuttoning his own coat and reaching for Ianto, pulling him into the warmth. He wrapped his arms, coat and all, around Ianto's shivering form and said somewhere near his ear, "That coat of yours wouldn't stop two degrees of frost."
Ianto huffed indignantly. "Show-off."
"Who, me?" Jack replied innocently.
Ianto felt the warmth of Jack's body and the protection of his coat -- and he had to admit that it was better than his own -- shelter his body. He said, "We could take this inside..."
"Ianto Jones, I like the way you think," Jack replied, laughing.
Ianto felt himself blush, but knew that the night and his position in Jack's arms would keep Jack from seeing it. "It's always the same with you, isn't it, Jack?"
"Always," Jack said in a low voice, "but that's why you love me."
"I do," Ianto replied, meaning it more than Jack probably realised. "Now can we go inside?"