Author's note: Inspired by singing Bridge Over Troubled Water at choir tonight, I've been in fanfic mode all day rewriting Lost Souls, so the fact that I couldn't get this out of my head came as no surprise

Disclaimer: I own neither Torchwood, nor Bridge Over Troubled Water


Jack sank into his seat and rubbed his face. It was far from the best Christmas he'd ever had; it was also far from the worst, but it was the one that was happening to him at that precise moment. Yesterday three people had come through the rift in a 1950s aeroplane; they were out of their time, lost and stranded. This evening one of them was on her way to a new life, one had sailed off into the rift, searching for a home she would never reach, and one was dead. John hadn't been able to live a life he didn't belong in, where there was no life for him to live. Jack was able to identify with that, but for him there was no way out, so he'd sat with the man, providing comfort and support in his last moments.

And Jack had walked away again, the man who could never die, although at the moment he felt that he was the man who couldn't live.

He'd come back to the Hub just after dawn, unable to face Ianto so soon. But the young man had come to him, known where to search for him and had come. Jack took the comfort he offered gratefully, clinging to him as they lay in the bunker beneath his office and he broke down, tears and words flowing together to tell Ianto what had happened to John, the pain he'd felt, the jealousy; to have that option, just knowing it would work would stop him taking it, but he needed the safety net.

Ianto had held him, kissed away his tears and promised him that everything would be OK. Those few hours in the bunker were a light in the darkness. At some point they'd got up and gone home to prepare for the team coming over. Gwen was supposed to bring Emma and Rhys, Owen was supposed to bring Diane and Jack was supposed to bring John, but none of them came, apart from Rhys. Owen had been angry, searching for someone to blame, and he'd chosen Jack – Ianto had had to drag him to the kitchen and beg him not to take it out on their boss, because the medic couldn't see how much it was hurting him. It didn't have much effect.

Then, as if his day couldn't get any worse, he'd had a phone call from the Defence Minister's office, demanding his presence in London. They switched the TV on as Jack and Ianto packed to leave, Ianto insisted that neither of them was going to spend Christmas alone, and watched for reports. It was whilst they were in the car that the news broke, the Thames had been drained and there was a death star over London.

UNIT were on the scene when they arrived, and told them that the Doctor had been there. He'd become involved with a wedding where the bride had disappeared, then she and the groom had run off with the Doctor and only she had come back. Where they had got to, no one knew, but the drained Thames was probably something to do with him. Shooting down the star, however, was all down to Harold Saxon, a man he managed to avoid yet again. They'd spoken on the phone, and the man was arrogant, violent and probably mad, he was one of those things that Jack wanted to get Ianto to field, but he wanted to protect his young lover.

When you're weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I'm on your side. When times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Ianto poured two glasses of wine and carried them over to the window where his lover was lost deep in thought. Jack managed a smile and accepted the glass gratefully, using his free arm to pull Ianto in to his side, where he settled happily. After a while Ianto sighed and turned to press a kiss to Jack's exposed neck, pulling back to look at him carefully, "Are you OK?"

Jack sighed, "I will be, it's just been a bad day."

"I know, I know…" He finished his glass of wine and pulled away to get a refil and put a CD on. Jack watched him go affectionately and couldn't wait for him to return. Ianto, however stopped in the middle of the room and held his hand out, beckoning Jack towards him as the track started. The immortal put his glass down and took his hand, he looked surprised when Ianto put his other hand on his shoulder, "This song came on when I was out shopping the other day, and it just felt appropriate today."

Jack couldn't find words, so instead he pulled Ianto in closer and put his hand on the small of his back, moving gently with the music.

When youre down and out,
When youre on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
I'll take your part.
When darkness comes
And pains is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

"I've been trying to think of a way to say this for a while," Ianto explained quietly in the instrumental break, "But I've never been that good with words, and this saong says it so much better than I ever could. I will be here for you Jack, for as long as I can." Jack leant in and kissed him gently, lovingly, grateful for everything Ianto had given him and continued to give him.

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.

They stood swaying together as it moved on to the next song, and Ianto had tears in his eyes, "Jack, your time will come, He will come, and when it does, you have to go. Don't worry about me, just… promise me you'll come back, because I'll be waiting."

Tears filled Jack's eyes too at the gift he'd been given, complete unconditional love, and he knew that love can only be complete if it flows in both ways, he leaned forwards to kiss him again, then gazed into his eyes, "I promise. I love you so much Ianto Jones, I promise I won't stay away a second longer than I have to, and then I'll be right back here with you, where I belong."