Couples.

He hated that word because of what it meant to him. He'd only ever been part of one couple and that had ended with two bodies in the morgue and a team that hated him.

He hated that word because of what it implied. Romance, flowers, dates. He had all that with Lisa, but he knew he wouldn't have it with Jack.

He'd tried to explain it to his sister, he wasn't suddenly gay, it wasn't all men - it was just Jack - and he wasn't sure if he was entirely comfortable with the idea of strangers seeing them in the street and making assumptions.

Yes, he hated that word.

Couples.

He hated that word because it meant it was real. People would inevitably get hurt once feelings got involved, even under normal circumstances. Especially under their circumstances.

He couldn't face the fact that he would have to say goodbye to Ianto. Retcon or death. It didn't matter, either way he would lose another loved one.

He wanted to keep his distance, but it was easier said than done where Ianto was concerned. With his encyclopaedic knowledge and his intoxicating Welsh accent.

Yes, he hated that word.