Fragments of the argument haunted Ianto's mind as he pressed the bottle to his lips and swallowed. And again. And again. Until eventually his head dropped to the kitchen tabletop and he fell into a drunken slumber.

Ianto head lay resting on Jack's chest, the gradually steadying heartbeat music to his ears as his fingers played lazily with the hairs on Jack's thigh. He didn't mean for the words to slip out, but it was in Ianto's nature, in moments such as these, to go against his better judgement, and throw caution to the wind. It usually had a negative effect.

"I love you."

It was barely a whisper. The complete opposite to his first declaration of his love for Lisa - slightly tipsy as they stumbled back from the pub to her place, and he shouted his little revelation at the top of his lungs. They'd been seeing each other for two weeks. Lisa put it down to the drink in his system. She didn't say it back. A month later, her last words as a human were those of her love for Ianto as she screamed in pain, encased in metal and gasping out her last breath. It was the first time she'd said it, and he wasn't even there to hear her.

It was fair to say Ianto hadn't had a good track record with those three little words. And as he lay in bed with a silent, and clearly shocked Jack, he realised that tonight would be no exception.

Things were finally getting back to normal. The team were slowly getting over the deaths of Owen and Tosh, and work continued as usual, saving the world day in, day out. Jack had kept his promise of a return, and he and Ianto went back to flirty glances over the boardroom table, and fumbles in the archives. It was how things were supposed to be. Gwen was always there, with her incessant desire to fix everything and everyone. Ianto was always there with coffee and a witty anecdote. And Jack was always there with his nimble fingers and wicked tongue, attentive yet detached.

Yes, everything was back to normal.

Ianto wanted more than 'normal'.

"Say something."

Jack remained silent.

It was times like these that really made you stop and look back on your life, your loves, your fuck ups. Ianto had a longer list than most. He often wished he could travel back in time. Change the things he regretted. One of those regrets was joining torchwood. If he hadn't naively signed up for Torchwood London, he would never have encountered the impossible beauty and intellect of Lisa Hallet. She was spellbinding, intoxicating in her own special way, and he really wishes she had never entered her life. If he had never set eyes on her, he would never have tried to play God, toying with so many other lives, to save just one.

In Ianto's opinion, Torchwood was the root of all evils. The bringer of temptation. And boy, did that temptation come in so many different forms. Ianto's being Captain Jack-fucking-Harkness. With his immeasurable ego, and endless supply of innuendo. His ability to lead you on, lull you in to a false sense of security, and cause you to mess everything up by admitting your love for him.

Ianto had never felt as ridiculous and stupid as he did right now. In this poisonous moment of embarrassment and pain, frantically grabbing his clothes from their scattered position on the floor and dashing up the ladders of Jack's chambers, the brutally cold metal bars digging in to the soles of his bare feet as he rushed from the room, eager to escape the cramped conditions, to be able to breath again, and reflect on how bloody idiotic he had been.

He pulled on his boxers when he reached the sanctuary of solid ground in the form of Jack's office, hastily dressing before escaping the hub, reaching the bitter October wind, as the waves thrashed against the bay and tears tumbled down his cheeks.

Jack hadn't even tried to stop him.

It was at that precise moment, that the Captain burst through the tourist office door, grabbing the back of Ianto's suit jacket. When the Welshman turned around, Jack was greeted by the most heartbreaking sight he had seen in a long time. Ianto's eyes were as red as his wind-bitten cheeks, and shiny, slithering lines marked the trail of tears down his cheeks. His buttons were done up wrong, one half of his aubergine shirt hanging lower than the other. His tie hung loosely round his neck, and he ran a hand throw his ruffled hair in a weak attempt to smooth it.

"What?! What can you possibly want to say to me Jack?"

The harshness of Ianto's tone shocked Jack. He had never heard Ianto talk to anyone like that, and it hurt him that his lover would use that tone when addressing him. The bitter edge to his words hung in the brittle autumn night air, the sky dark, save from a few twinkling constellations, and the streets empty, with the exception of the odd drunk couple stumbling past, laughing merrily and slurring their words. Jack hated these situations, when no matter what he said, they would both end up hurt, whither in the short or long term. If he kept quiet about his love for the stunning man in front of him, he would lose him, not only in his bed, put possibly in his position at Torchwood - Jack knew deep down that Ianto would rather leave, than face the man, that had humiliated him so deeply, every day. But if he told of his love, Ianto kissed him, and things went on as before, it would hurt them more when the end finally came. When Ianto died, and Jack had to go on living.

"I'm sorry." It was a pathetic thing to say, and Jack knew it.

Ianto turned and walked away.

His knuckles tapped the polished wooden door for the third time in five minutes. The rhythmic pounding against the door as his anxiety grew. He doubted Ianto would have done something stupid, but he had never seen the younger man so distraught in all the time he had known him as he had looked outside the Hub, pain practically spilling from the pores of his body. His fingers shook uncontrollably as he ran them through his hair. One last time. He knocked on the door one last time.

Again, no answer.

He had vowed not to use his key - all Torchwood employees were required to give a spare house key to the Team Leader in case of 'emergencies' - but Jack figured this was one of those emergencies.

He turned the key in the lock, the metal glinting in the glow of the streetlamps illuminating the street, and cautiously stepped inside. On first inspection, there was nothing untoward; no suicide note greeting him at the door, no last gasping breaths to be heard from the bathroom. But Ianto didn't reply when Jack called his name, and alarm bells began to ring.

He rushed in to the living room, no sign of Ianto. The bedroom, again, no Ianto. The next room he reached was the kitchen, where he didn't know whether to be relieved or panicked. He found Ianto slumped over the kitchen table, his head resting on one arm, a bottle of Jack Daniels nestled in the crook of the other. He dashed across the tiled flooring, reaching Ianto's side.

"Ianto? Come on, Ianto. Wake up. Come on, please don't do this to me."


He took Ianto's head in his hands, and lifted it from the table, gently slapping him on the cheek in an attempt to wake him up. Tears were clouding his vision now, and worst case scenarios played on repeat in his head.

Finally, Ianto's stormy blue eyes flickered open, his pupils were dilated, and his eyes were still bloodshot. He mumbled something incoherent, before slumping back to the tabletop.


Jack hadn't even thought to check the bottle before now. The bottle was new, it was the one Jack had bought him as an impromptu present, and he had seen it in his cupboard the previous evening. Definitely unopened. The bottle was less than half full.

It made Jack sick to think how much his lover had drank in such a short space of time.

He fetched a glass of water, promptly returning to the table, pulling out the seat next to Ianto's, and waking him up.

"Drink this. It'll sober you up."

Ianto hazily took the glass in his unsteady hands, letting the water glide over his taste buds and down his throat, as Jack supported his head. Ianto, for some moments had no recognition of the reason for his drinking, but after he finished the glass, he looked straight in Jack's eyes, holding his gaze with a steely glare, and confidently told him to fuck off. Although, despite the brashness of his statement, he was slurring his words, and gripping the table top as if to steady himself.

Jack refused to leave.

He guided a reluctant Ianto to bed, helping undress him down to his boxers, pretending to ignore his protests, and pulled the covers over him. He was snoring as soon as his head hit the pillow. Jack rarely had the opportunity to watch Ianto sleeping, and he deeply regretted it, because watching him now, his guard completely down, as his chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm, Jack could honestly say he had never looked so peaceful. So beautiful.

Jack slept on the couch. Fully clothed, with no covers.

Ianto was awoken the next morning with a sensation not dissimilar to a herd of elephants charging through his head, a throat rough as sandpaper, and memories of a night he'd much rather forget. He rolled out of bed, the flooring spinning beneath he feet, and clumsily began his journey to the kitchen. Pouring himself a glass of orange juice and fetching two strong painkillers from the medicine cupboard, he took a seat at the kitchen table, only to have flashbacks of the previous night, and how he had drunk himself stupid in the very chair he was sat in. He decided to sit in the living room.

Slight surprise would be an understatement to describe how Ianto felt upon discovering Jack lying on the couch, his nose buried deeply in the cushion, as if to inhale some hidden scent, and his shirt unbuttoned to reveal his white undershirt, the fabric clinging to his deliciously toned muscles. He watched him for a second, mesmerised by the sight in front of him, before Jack shakily exhaled a breath, and Ianto was brought back to his senses. After last night, Ianto was meant to despise this man, not watch him sleep. And he certainly shouldn't be thinking about how adorable he looked with ruffled hair.

"Jack!" Ianto hit Jack's calf with the television remote, and Jack instantly woke up, never one to be a heavy sleeper. He blinked a few times, as if to analyse his surroundings and gather his bearings, before looking at Ianto, and both men settled in to an awkward silence. Ianto in nothing but boxers, feeling unnaturally self-conscious in front of the man who had seen it all, and so much more before, whilst Jack was fully dressed, trying hard to avert his eyes.

Ianto took a seat in the armchair, and Jack finally sat up fully. Ianto had no intentions to break the silence. That could be Jack's job. It was Ianto's words that had gotten them in to this mess, he certainly wasn't about to fuck it up further by, once again, saying the wrong thing.

"Look, Ianto. I'm sorry. For everything."

If Ianto heard 'I'm sorry' one more time from Jack, he would be tempted to quite happily rip his throat out, and feed Jack's remains to the neighbour's cat.

"Jack! Stop saying you're sorry. Because you're not. You're not sorry for your reaction, you're sorry I told you that I loved you, and if you so much as…"

Ianto was silenced by Jack's lips pressing against his, as his hand slithered to the back of Ianto's neck. Ianto stiffened. This was definitely not what he had expected to be doing when he'd woken up this morning, but after a few moments, he realised how he had most likely taken things out of proportion, and decided 'what the hell', kissing Jack back with vigour, his tongue slipping in to Jack's, and pulling the older man into his lap. To say Jack was relieved would be like saying America was 'kind of a big country'. He smiled in to the kiss, and his fingers played with the curls at the nape of Ianto's neck. His body was rubbing against Ianto's a delectable friction as their bodies fought for space on the armchair.

After a while, a distinct need for oxygen became apparent, and both men pulled apart, panting slightly, and resting their foreheads together. Jack's mouth forms those fateful words, his lips touching Ianto's as he speaks.

"I love you, Ianto Jones."

Ianto grinned, and Jack got to his feet, offering his hand. No more words were needed.

Jack lead Ianto to the bedroom, sitting on the edge of the bed, and pulling Ianto down to sit astride his thighs, straddling Jack, and rolling his hips as they kissed, both cocks hardening, Jack's trousers now unfathomably tight against his obvious arousal. Ianto's nimble fingers got to work, stripping Jack, garment by garment, his hands and eyes taking their time to explore the contours of Jack's body, as if seeing the other man in an entirely new light. Their touches were slow and sensual, and it didn't take long for Jack to have Ianto lying on his back, with his cock in his mouth, as Jack deep throated him towards ecstasy. Ianto's hips were writhing uncontrollably, as he reached his release and cried out in pleasure.

Jack kissed his way up the Welshman's lithe torso. His lips had become acquainted to Ianto's body over the months, as they explored endless fantasies, and investigated new positions, but it was at occasions like this, when it was simple, just Jack and Ianto, no handcuffs, or leather belts, or 'master/servant' roles, when they were really in their element, and Jack could truly appreciate the beauty of Ianto's perfectly formed body.

He finally reached Ianto's lips, after licking a trail up his stomach, kissing each nipple, and collarbone, after sucking his neck, and leaving a trail of butterfly kisses along his jaw line. He licked Ianto's bottom lip, before taking it between his teeth, and gazing mischievously in to Ianto's eyes, teasing him mercilessly. Eventually, after nibbling on the lip for a good few moments, and after Ianto had impatiently thrust his hips off the bed, he kissed Ianto, passionately and lovingly, yet keeping that ever present Harkness sex-appeal intact.

Reaching over to the bedside table, he retrieved his desired object, and returned to Ianto, whom, upon noticing the lack of a condom in Jack's hands, raised his eyebrows, before Jack kissed him tenderly, partly to silence him, but mostly because Ianto's lips were truly irresistible. Ianto, of course, had no objections, he was clean, Jack was clean, in fact there were so many reasons why he had no problem with going bareback, but he was certainly a little surprised at Jack.

Whilst they were kissing, Jack squeezed the lube on to his fingers and massaged the cool gel in to his skin, before pushing a finger in to Ianto, watching with delight as his lover squirmed beneath him, and before long Ianto was begging for more, raising his hips off the bed with little effort. There was no way Jack could refuse such an offer, so he entered a second, and finally a third digit inside Ianto, massaging, teasing his prostate, until Ianto was practically riding Jack's hand.

"Please Jack!"

Jack pulled out his fingers, wiping the remainder of the lube on to his cock, before squeezing more from the packet on to his length, and after a moment of lining himself up against Ianto, he pushed inside his tight hole. Ianto instinctively wrapped his legs around Jack's waist, and Jack lifted Ianto up until he was sitting on his lap, his cock encased between their bodies, and his heels digging in to Jack's lower back in the most pleasurable pain.

It had never been like this before. So slow, so sensual, so…tender. Jack had never wrapped his arms around Ianto, as if hugging him, and pulled him this close before. Ianto had never heard Jack whimper, his Captain's mouth pressed right up against his ear as Ianto pumped his hips. Jack had never kissed his cheek before, his lips trembling against his skin with the immense pleasure coursing through his body. Jack had never seemed so vulnerable to Ianto before, a concoction of his insecurities weaved throughout his quaking touch. His senses had never felt so heightened, as if he could feel every hair on Jack's thighs brushing against his buttocks as he moved up and down, as if he could hear every gasp, see every bead of sweat trickling down Jack's forehead, the droplets of liquid glistening in the early morning sunlight, seeping in through the window.

And it had never felt so amazing when Jack had come inside him before, no barrier of the condom like before, no distraction from the delicious heat of Jack's seed inside him.

And he had never come so hard as he did right then, coating both of their sweat-slicked stomachs, and crying out so loud he should have worried about being landed with an ASBO. But he just couldn't bring himself to care.

He collapsed back on the mattress, as Jack pulled out of him, and lay beside him, his fingers running up and down Ianto's stomach, becoming coated in his come, before Jack sucked his fingers, causing Ianto's hyper-sensitive cock to twitch. Jack grinned, kissing him and sharing the taste. When he pulled back, he looked straight in Ianto's eyes, his own glistening with mischief as he said, "God, why didn't I tell you I loved you sooner?!"

Ianto chuckled, and kissed him again.