Ianto didn't like roofs. He didn't like them before his leg was injured, he certainly didn't like them now. One wrong move and the leg would give, sending him off balance, plummeting to the ground so far away.

Damning his overactive imagination, Ianto wrapped his arms around himself. It was colder than expected this close to dawn and his jacket wasn't much protection against the wind.

In front of him, Jack stood on the very edge of the roof, his head turned upwards towards the stars. Ianto didn't have to see it to know the expression on Jack's face; he'd seen it often enough in his own mirror.

Sighing, he made his way slowly and carefully towards his captain; Jack's need outweighed Ianto's dislike of roofs and heights. Still, he approached cautiously, unwilling to startle the man.

"You shouldn't be up here." Jack didn't even look in his direction. Ianto ignored the reproach and reached out, letting just his fingertips rest against Jack's arm.

"Jack." This was not the time or place for "sir" so Ianto didn't speak the word that had become something private, almost intimate between them. Instead, he took another step forward and curled his fingers into the heavy wool of Jack's coat sleeve.

"I should have listened to you." Jack finally turned to look at Ianto, and the grief on his face twisted something in Ianto's chest.

"It had to be done," Ianto told him, his voice steady and sure. He wouldn't offer platitudes neither of them had the stomach for them. It wasn't alright, it never would be, but Jack had done what was necessary.

"She'll be well cared for." Ianto hesitated, then forced out the words he'd never spoken aloud. "My mother was there for a while, in Providence Park."

Jack's expression softened just a little and he laid a hand over Ianto's, but he showed no surprise at this revelation.

Of course, Ianto told himself, Toshiko. Jack would have had her do a background check on him and she was very thorough. Not that Ianto had hidden the information; he had just chosen to not mention it until now.

"Suzie was fearless." Jack made it sound like an epitaph.

"She wasn't," Ianto corrected as gently as he could. "She was terrified. She was just better at denying it than the rest of us." Ianto leaned in close to Jack, needing some of the other man's warmth. "Death isn't alien, it's not a puzzle to be solved. Suzie couldn't accept that."

Ianto reached up and brushed a hand against Jack's temple the one that Suzie had grazed with a bullet only hours before. It had been so close.

"She nearly killed someone tonight." Jack's voice was thick with misery. "If you hadn't warned me about the glove..."

"You did what had to be done." Ianto would not let Jack punish himself, Suzie didn't deserve that kind of power over him. "By rights she should be in jail."

"Instead, she's retconned back to childhood and committed to a sanitarium."

"Where she will be cared for until she can relearn how to be a functioning member of society." Ianto kept his voice calm but firm. Jack had wallowed in misery and self-recrimination long enough. He was Torchwood Three's leader and he had to make difficult decisions and live with them. It was Ianto's self-appointed task to remind Jack of that fact.

"Tosh gave her a good cover she'll get the care needed for a trauma victim with severe memory loss. Torchwood will cover any expenses through the usual channels, and there's a fund in her name for when she's sufficiently recovered to be on her own. We'll keep an eye on her Jack. She'll have the support she needs to make sure this doesn't happen again."

"Tosh thinks of everything," Jack said, every word laced with misery. Ianto knew that tone and recognized the bitter unhappiness in Jack's eyes. Suzie had been his - a part of Jack's team, his trusted second, his sometimes lover and confidant. The woman Owen had taken to Providence Park was none of those.

"What do you think of Gwen Cooper?" Jack asked at last, forcing a brighter tone. He tightened his hold on Ianto and closed his eyes for a moment before opening them again and looking upwards to the first hint of dawn.

"Lots of rough edges," Ianto offered letting just a hint of teasing into his voice. "She'll be a challenge."

"Yeah, she will," Jack agreed easily, unable to hide the light that brightened his eyes.

Jack couldn't resist a challenge; Ianto knew that well enough. He relaxed against Jack, taking in the first blush of sunrise. It wouldn't be perfect, he decided, but it would be good, having Gwen on the team. After all, he was fond of the occasional challenge himself.

::end::