It starts from Jack's POV and each line break you encounter switches the POV. Hopefully it won't be confusing.
Besides the few bewildered looks Gwen sends my way the ride is relatively quiet. If you ignore the screech of tires every time I turn a corner that is. I'm glad she doesn't say anything because it gives me some time to try to figure out exactly what the hell I am doing. Thinking and drawing a blank each time. At the moment the speed of the SUV is a consequence both because of the need to see Ianto and also because there is little to no cars on the streets and I feel like I'm in an action movie. I do fit the image of dashing hero quite well anyways. Another screech of tires and Cardiff Bay expands before me; the little tourist office that is Torchwood's cover making itself seen. I slow down as we approach and then stop completely when the wooden dock elongates ahead. I quickly yell over my shoulder at Gwen to call Owen up to help her with the Weevils. The minute my feet hit the ground, I'm running. Action movie, I smile despite myself. The only thing that's missing is an explosion behind me and then a slow-mo of me jumping over the railing and diving into the Bay. But, this isn't True Lies and I'm not Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead, I am Captain Jack Harkness; running towards an uncertain goal, with gut feeling driving me forward. The door to the office is suddenly in front of me and I all but gracefully enter. My legs grow stiff the moment I step inside and then there's me, there's him and I'm just as confused and as lost as he is.
I place the phone back on the receiver and cross out yet another name on the list. So far, taking to this task has taken my mind off of other things. My eyes quickly look over the last name and I let out a stifled groan. The Prime Minister! For God's sakes, I sometimes wonder exactly who Jack thinks he is. Separate from the government, outside the police, beyond the United Nations. I suspect Jack thinks he's even above the Queen, besides the three aforementioned. Outside there's a dull screech of tires. I reach for the phone and punch in the numbers for the Prime Minister's office, silently praying he won't be there. As the phone rings I run over in my head what I will say. Simple reasons I doubt will satisfy him so I try to conjure up something more in depth. There's a muffled thumping somewhere outside and it get's louder. The line connects and the Prime Minister himself answers, much to my initial shock. I was expecting a secretary.
"So Torchwood finds the time to call back now do they?" a contemptuous tone which I don't blame him for. I highly doubt the Prime Minister is used to being kept waiting. I am about to answer when the door opens. That being an understatement I'd rather say the door is flung open with such speed and power that it swings on it's hinges and smashes against the wall; causing an almost explosive eruption in the silent room. As a result my brain activates my reflexes, which in turn causes the phone to fly out of my hand and my legs to jump up and move away. Simply put; if I had also screeched (which I didn't!) one would much liken the scene to a cat being spooked out of it's wits; hair bristling on end, claws drawn and tail puffed out.
The cause of the commotion stands before me; eyes bright with excitement and anxiety mixed into a familiar blue tint. Chest heaving up and down as if he had just run a marathon and mouth hanging slightly ajar; unceremoniously sucking in air.
We both just stare for a moment unblinking. His erratic breathing slowly dies down to a more calm and rhythmic sound. I then blink and clear my throat, stand up straight and adjust my tie. "Sir?" I notice the excitement in his eyes has been taken over by nervousness, the anxiety remains "is something wrong?" I would very much like to know what caused him to nearly bring down the tourist office.
"Ianto," Jack straightens up and I never knew that my name could be said in so many different ways. It's as if he's reading off of a script...with the rest of the lines missing because only silence follows. I almost answer him. Yes, I know Jack. I hope you and Gwen are happy. And in a way that's not entirely a lie. If being with Gwen would indeed make Jack happy then I suppose I should be glad for him. Despite telling myself that, my heart is sinking rapidly. God, I don't want to hear this. But, I need to hear this. The reality of our situation. I look at him and wait for the blow. His eyes just dance across my face; it's as if he's making last minute decisions. Out of my peripheral vision there is a flashing light that momentarily distracts me. I spare a glance towards the origin and I uncomprehendingly look at the telephone, whose Line 1 button keeps on lighting up. My mouth opens into a little 'O' and my eyes widen.
Oh my God. Realization dawns on me. I hung up on the Prime Minister! I grab the phone rapidly and click the flashing button that had commanded my attention.
"Mr. Prime Minister, I am terribly sorry for the delay" I attempt at making my voice sound fluent and learn something new about myself. My throat can deliver quite a high pitch. The Prime Minister seethes angrily about how it's one thing being kept waiting by the head of Torchwood but something very much more demeaning when being hung up on by his secretary. Archivist actually, assistant maybe but secretary stings a bit. Preoccupied with the furious man on the other end of the line, I don't notice Jack sigh impatiently and walk over to me until he plucks the phone out of my hand briskly.
"I'm kind of busy right now Gordon. I'll call you another time" and with that the Prime Minister or 'Gordon' for those like Jack who sit up top some throne well beyond human perception call him; is cut off...again.
I can't absorb anything that's just happened because I'm abruptly thrown against the nearest wall and pinned by familiar lips. Jack's intoxicating scent wraps itself around my nose and any resistance I might have had evaporates. There's something jutting into my back but I let Jack push me further. My eyes slowly open. Jack's eyebrows are knit together in what would appear like anger but there's a contradicting softness in the way he moves against my mouth. Like a curtain, my eyelids drop and now there's only his heat, his tongue and somewhere in between a sense of desperation. One hand knots itself in my short hair; angling my head as he pleases, whilst his other cups the right side of my face; unbearably gentle yet demanding my submission. I grip his arms tightly; the fabric of his shirt bunching into folds under my grasp. All the pain, fear, despair and hope that I've kept hidden. That's been lying just beneath the surface seeps into this kiss as I move back against Jack's mouth. I tightly shut my eyes against approaching tears because for once, I can feel that I'm not the only one who's been in pain or who has fear.
Jack pulls back but his forehead remains against my own. Our eyes are still closed, our hands are still gripping and our breaths are mingling in the space between us. Jack's eyes open languidly and even though mine are shut, I know he's looking at me. I know because of the shiver that crawls up my spine. That same shiver I get every time his gaze is set on me keenly. His thumb moves in lazy circles against my jaw, moving up to my cheek and I lean into his touch subconsciously.
"I'm sorry," he whispers in a low, husky voice and his hot breath hits my face like a warm wave. For a moment I can only focus on breathing in his scent and breath. Then when my brain slowly processes what he's said my eyes open and I'm searching his face, his eyes, his nose and his mouth for meaning.
"Ianto, I'm sorry," he repeats in a hoarser voice and his eyes close for a moment before opening again "for Gwen," he shakes his head slightly "I mean, she's...important" he chooses the word carefully and looks at me a bit sadly. "But you," a ghostly smile graces his lips "with you, it's different" his voice shakes ever so slightly. He looks down and then back into my eyes and I hate it. I hate the effect he has on me. I hate that he's stripped me bare and I can't hide the longing and lust that burns deep within me. The brilliant blue color that adorns his eyes softens considerably. "Tonight," the hand holding the back of my head lightly slides down to cup my face "after everyone has gone," he leans in and brushes our lips together and I have to force my eyes to persist being open "stay" he places an air-like kiss on my lips.
An unendurable silence places itself in our midst. On my part it's not as silent as it seems because my mind is racing almost side by side with my heart. I'd always believed that there's only that one voice in your head. You know that one that always seems to interrupt you when you're lying to yourself or trying to shut something out. The one that makes you face everything you don't want to. Well I've come to discover that I have many of that 'one' voice and for once it's just as squandered as I am. In my head there's a loud uproar of similar questions.
"What does he mean? What does that mean? Does that mean that he doesn't love Gwen? She's important but with me it's different? How so? In what way? Different good? Different bad?"
"Ianto...say something?!" Jack sounds nervous and mildly frightened. I'm rather enjoying seeing him so displaced.
In a swift second all the voices stop. There are no more questions, no uproar or confusion. A steady happiness settles down and hitches a ride on my blood vessels until every part of me is feeling it. Though Jack's...confession as I'll call it has much left to be desired there's something so much more important that's happened. Jack has basically let down his guard. He'd allowed himself to become vulnerable. And, he'd done that...for me. I replay the scene in my head over and over again until I'm basked in a mortifying and subtle bliss.
Jack hasn't made any promises of no more pain or no more fear or of some delusional happy ending. And, I'm entirely fine with that. I don't expect any of those things as it is. What Jack has done though, is made an effort. For me, he let his defense fall.
With that knowledge adding a new pace to my heart. I look up at his now worried and expectant face. The way he flew into the office. The way he had hung up on the Prime Minister. The way his lips felt against mine. What he had said and done. I can't help the smile that stretches across my face nor the bubbling chuckle that escapes my throat. He takes in the laughter and furrows his brows with evident confusion and his flustered features are suddenly so funny that I let out a loud chuckle. I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him in for a hug. For all intents and purposes I'll say truthfully it might be the awkwardest hug ever. I realize oddly that Jack and I have never just held each other; so right now he peculiarly fixes his arms around my waist.
"Thank you," I whisper into his ear and holding each other has become so relaxed that it almost feels natural. I know that his feelings toward Gwen haven't magically ceased nor disappeared, or that his never ending flirting has gone. I also know that the pain that's been weighing me down lately is still there but, it's lighter. I think that this might mean that these feelings that I have aren't one-sided after all. I'd like to think that. Can I continue thinking that Jack?
I wrap my arms around his waist a bit stiffly. I don't remember ever having held him before, but it seems easy enough. I let out an inconspicuous sigh of relief. For just a second I wonder if I've done the right thing and I know that I haven't. These bonds that I forge while I am here; they just make everything so much more difficult. So much harder to let go, to turn away from. And then I breathe in his scent and I know that there are no regrets. And then he whispers into my ear and I feel like I've finally done something good for him. I can't promise you that everything will be okay but goddammit I'll try Ianto.
As if questioning my sudden resolve, thoughts of Gwen come to mind. Her face, her eyes. Even that gap between her teeth that on any other person would be a total turn-off. I tighten my grip on him and smile at the way those unruly hairs at the back of his neck curl up and tickle my chin.
I think about Gwen getting married. It's gotten much easier to deal with. No longer is there that heavy regretful sigh. It's better this way, she needs normality. She deserves normality. Saying this I then deliberate that Ianto deserves normality too. He deserves so much more then I can offer him. I imagine him with someone other then myself. Some foreign hands holding and caressing him. Foreign lips kissing him and exploring the body that I've become so familiar with. I chew this over with a growing sense of panic and discomfort. I'm sorry Ianto, but I think I'm going to be a little bit selfish.
The concealed door that lies just behind the wall begins to slide open and Ianto and I are on opposite ends of the room faster than one could imagine. Ianto finds the floor suddenly to be of interest and me, I find the ceiling of amazing proportions. Tosh walks in and looks at the distance between us with concern. I smile at her and hope she get's the message; its okay. Ianto looks up and asks her if he could help her with anything.
"Actually I just wanted to ask Jack," I lift my head and both Ianto and I are back into the seriousness of work; as serious as I can be anyways. "What we should do with the Weevils" for a second I literally have no idea what she is talking about because I'm busy deliberating if what's happened between Ianto and I represents fighting and making up. I've heard make-up sex is really the best. "Jack?" right, back to the seriousness of work.
"Uh, yeah the Weevils, we don't really need them because we've already got Janet, so just release them back into the sewers" Tosh nods and leaves.
Ianto and I look over at each other and as I exhale a smile form on my lips. "See you after work," he nods with a slight blush accenting his cheeks and presses the button under his desk. The door slides open and before it slides shut I turn back. He smiles at me and goes back to his work. Tonight, amongst other things, I might just try this hug thing again. It felt kinda nice.
Tosh and Jack have left. Leaving me staring at the computer blindly. Somewhere a voice reminds me that the Prime Minister will probably be out to get us now but I muffle it and try to make sense of everything. I imprint in my mind every single word and movement Jack made. I try to emboss every feeling his touch insinuated. My heart hasn't stopped racing, there's this goofy smile on my face that refuses to go away and my cheeks are burning with happiness. In general I feel like a complete idiot. An idiot for letting myself be filled with joy at the mere thought that Jack might not see me as just a part-time shag after all. I check the time on my stopwatch and it's much too long until the others go home. I want to just hold him again. Hold him and let worry and fear get lost in ecstasy.
Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe I'm naïve. But maybe hope dies last.
Ta-da! I hope you've enjoyed the last chapter :)
Thank you all for reading and reviewing. I appreciate it!