Wouldn't Change Anything
Summary: Ianto wonders what he means to Jack and feels insignificant. Jack reassures Ianto that he won't ever leave him.
Notes: Set after the TW novel Trace Memory. There's not a lot to do with the novel itself but there are a few passages taken from it. If you haven't read it hopefully you won't get confused. Passages taken directly from the novel are in italics and with a ** next to it.
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Ianto picked up the remote and switched off the DVD player. He had finished his James Bondathon and was ready to call it a night. It had been a long day and he was ready to see it end. It was strange to think that just a few hours ago he had been relaxing with the DVD, pizza and his feet propped up.
** "Taking it easy I see?" said Jack, stepping out through the security door that led into the Hub itself. "Well, at least someone has the right idea? Whatcha doing there, Sport?"
He had quickly gotten through to Jack that "Sport" was not an appropriate pet name for him. Jack had then settled on "Tiger Pants", which had made Ianto laugh. Possibly the last laugh of the evening.
The entire day had been slow and monotonous since the Rift had decided to behave. Jack had even gone and cleaned out the SUV as well as scrubbed the outside on his own. The evening had also been quiet and Jack had planned on sending everyone home. He'd also had plans for him and Ianto but then came Michael and the Vondrax. Ianto doubted that Jack would be in the mood to have fun tonight now.
Not that he could blame Michael. The poor boy had been a victim. It didn't mean though that he didn't resent him. No, Ianto Jones was far from perfect and he knew it. He also knew that he was incredibly jealous of the young man who only a short while ago had popped into the Hub and later vanished. According to Jack the boy had died in his past. He felt sorry for the boy but he was still jealous. Jack's reaction to the whole mess didn't help at all.
Ianto had watched Jack enter his office. No doubt he was going to brood over Michael. He had left him alone for a few minutes before he had gathered his own thoughts and made his way to Jack.
** Jack didn't hear Ianto enter the office. He didn't even know he was there until he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard his voice.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah," said Jack, putting his hand over Ianto's and squeezing gently. "Yeah, I'm fine."
But he hadn't seemed fine. Ianto knew his Captain so much better than that. He knew that his Captain's thoughts, his lover's thoughts were on the young man sleeping not too far away. He knew that from the moment Michael had entered Torchwood that his lover had all but forgotten about him.
** "Should I be jealous?" Ianto asked.
Jack span around in his chair.
"What do you mean?"
Ianto pointed at Jack's monitor, where Jack had been watching an image of Michael sleeping.
"What?" Jack asked. "What are you talking about?"
He honestly wondered at times if Jack was really so clueless when it came to other people's feelings or if he was merely pretending. So he had pointed out that Jack said he had known Michael before.
** "And I did."
Jack said nothing.
Of course there was really nothing to say. Jack had lived a long time. He had many past lovers besides Estelle and John Hart. Ianto knew that without having to ask. He had seen the way that Jack's eyes wandered even when he was taking Ianto to dinner. He was not a relationship person. And Ianto knew that he was not the one to change that aspect about Jack. He knew he wasn't important or special enough to make Captain Jack Harkness monogamous.
** "If there's anything you need to do," said Ianto, "you should just do it. I don't own you. I can't stop you."
Jack looked up at Ianto and smiled weakly.
He had hoped that Jack would have then told him that he was wrong, that he might have cared for Michael before but that it was he, Ianto, who was the most important person to him. He had wanted Jack to hold him and tell him that he had nothing to worry about, that he couldn't imagine his life without the Welshman in it. Instead he had gotten to learn about Michael's fate. Yes, he felt sorrow at the loss of an innocent life but he also felt sorry for himself.
He had listened patiently as Jack had told him about Valentine and the Vondrax coming for Michael. He had nodded his head at each description and had looked sad when he learned that the boy had taken his own life.
He had also felt more sorry for himself because he knew that Jack wanted Michael to stay. And if Michael stayed then…
** "So where does this leave us?" asked Ianto.
Jack looked at him quizzically. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I mean if he's here now…"
Are you going back to him? That was what he had wanted to know. If Jack cared more about a boy he had only known for a few days or for his lover of several months. Jack hadn't even answered him, not really. He had told Ianto that Michael would be leaving, that it was inevitable. But it didn't make Ianto feel any better. What if they had somehow been able to stop Michael from leaving and stopped the Vondrax as well? Michael would still be here and then Jack would have to make a choice.
** "You need to go to him, then," he said. "Now, I mean. Go and talk to him. Just… just be with him."
Jack nodded, and smiled. As he walked out of his office, Ianto caught his hand, and held it for a second before letting go.
Ianto had watched him go before turning back to the desk. He had absently straightened the papers there and cleared away the trash before looking at the monitor. He watched Jack enter and speak to Michael. He had switched off the monitor and sat down in Jack's chair. A few minutes later he had heard the two men come out and get onto the invisible lift and gone to the doorway to watch them.
** "Is this thing safe?" asked Michael.
"Oh yeah, said Jack, laconically. "We'd never be allowed to have one of these things if it didn't stand up to all the… you know… rigorous… er…"
The platform began to rise up above the Hub.
"Rigorous what?" asked Michael.
"Oh, you know," said Jack. "Health and safety stuff."
Like he hadn't seen Ianto standing there. Yeah, right. If Ianto hadn't sent him a dirty, scathing look Jack would have probably told him about the various times that they had coupled on the lift. He had decided right then that if Jack were right and Michael would be gone soon that the lift was going to be off-limits. He had agreed to having sex on the moving lift because he knew his lover had an exhibitionist streak and being shielded by the perception filter was the closest he was going to get Ianto to actually hooking up in public.
Even now, several hours after Michael's leaving Ianto was still upset. Jack had gone to be alone and the others had left. That had been fine with him. He needed to sort himself out. It was hard enough for him to have to watch Jack fawn over Gwen everyday. Not to mention that sometimes in bed his lover had accidentally called out names other than that of the Welshman. There was also the Doctor factor. Ianto feared that if the Doctor came calling that Jack would abandon them all again.
Having Michael, another former lover, thrown into the mix only compounded his own feels of insignificancy.
He was available, plain and simple. He was easy to get into bed and convenient. Jack didn't have to do much in order to get Ianto naked. Sure, they had fun but then again it was always about Jack. Ianto worked hard to satisfy his lover but his own insecurities wouldn't allow him to tell Jack when he wasn't feeling it or that he wanted Jack to do something in particular. Jack had this little trick involving his tongue and Ianto's left hand that sent rivers of pleasure coursing through him but he was too afraid to ask Jack to do it more often. So he focused on Jack.
And once again it had bitten him in the arse.
He had seen the look on Jack's face. He knew that if Michael had been saved in this time then Jack would have gone to be with him. If he had then Ianto would have had to make him choose. He didn't want to lose his Captain but he himself didn't do casual. Perhaps Jack could deal with seeing Ianto with other people but it wasn't in the young man to share. And he knew that if he made Jack choose that it would be Ianto who was left heartbroken.
"You looked tired."
Ianto looked up as Jack leaned against the counter. He held a box of fresh, hot pizza and a six-pack in his hands.
"Then how about we head to yours' and we have a bite to eat before turning in?"
"No thank you. I'd rather be alone tonight." With his demons and insecurities.
Jack was surprised at that.
"Why? I mean, I was kinda thinking that after the long night we've all had that maybe we could all take tomorrow off and that you and I could just relax."
Ianto began to clear up the Tourist Office. Relax? How could he possibly do that knowing how close he was to losing Jack?
"Ianto?" Jack set down the pizza and beer and tried to reach for his lover. Ianto however stepped out of reach and picked up the pizza box from earlier.
Jack frowned as he watched Ianto move. His back was far too stiff, even if he had been sitting in that chair for hours. Something was bothering him. Something about tonight. But what?
"Ianto, what is it? What's wrong?"
Ianto closed his eyes and sighed. Jack wasn't going to go away. Might as well hear the words instead dof just imagining them.
"If he had been able to stay, you would have chosen him over me?"
Jack was shocked. That wasn't what he'd expected.
"I saw how you looked at him. It's the same way you look at Gwen when you think I don't notice and the way you look when you talk about the Doctor."
"I don't know what you're asking…"
"I don't do casual, Jack. You don't do monogamy. If Michael had stayed would you have chosen him over me?"
"Ianto, that's not something you need to worry about."
"Just because he couldn't stay isn't an answer, Jack." Ianto turned to face him. "All right, let's talk about the rest then. Gwen, you always look at her the way you looked at Michael. And more than once it's been her name you called out in bed."
"What!" Shit, had he really? Jack felt like the mud on his own boots.
"Yes. You never call out my name. In fact, it's never really me you see is it? When we're together I'm little more than a blow-up doll that you can manipulate all you want. I'm just there to fulfill your sordid fantasies."
"Okay, now that's enough!"
Ianto stared at Jack for a moment.
"The truth hurts doesn't it?" he asked softly. "Do you ever think of how what you say and do affect me?"
"All the time." Jack was trying to stay calm but it was hard. Ianto had all but said that Jack was using him for sex but that wasn't true.
"Look," he said. "I know that I tend to want sex a lot but that doesn't mean that you're right. I happen to enjoy having sex with you. You're a fantastic lover who always knows what to do to satisfy me. I'm sorry if I've said someone else's name in bed but I didn't mean to and I'm not perfect."
"It's more than that, Jack."
Ianto sighed and reached for his jacket. He gathered his thoughts as he pulled it on.
"Sometimes I think you want to be withy only me and then just when I feel that I can tell you I love you, you go and do or say something to make me feel like I can be discarded at any time."
Jack had to bite his lip when Ianto let it slip that he loved him. He wasn't sure exactly what he felt for Ianto but he knew that the only person he wanted was the Welshman. If Michael had stayed it would have been a relief because the nightmare was over but he wouldn't have gone back to him. He couldn't do that to Ianto. He wouldn't. Ianto was far too important to him to mess things up. Sure, he liked casual relationships where he could have multiple lovers but he knew that the thought of him sleeping with anyone else would kill Ianto.
'Sometimes," Ianto said softly as he looked out the window. "Sometimes I want to try it. I want to go out with you one evening and go home with someone else."
Jack's eyes widened and his hands clenched tightly. He moved forward and wrapped his arms around his lover, pulling him close.
"You'd better not, Tiger Pants." He tightened his grip when Ianto tried to wiggle free. "I am not in the habit of sharing. Especially not you."
Ianto scoffed at that.
"Jack, I don't own you, remember? I'm just a part-time shag. And you don't own me, either. If you can go out and pull people all the time then so can I."
"You think I'm cheating on you?" Jack spun them around and pressed Ianto against a wall. "No, Ianto. You're more important, more dear to me than that." He nuzzled Ianto neck and inhaled the scent of the other man. "I haven't been with anyone since you first pulled out that stopwatch and stayed at the Hub over a year ago. I wouldn't do that to you."
Ianto pulled back to look at him. He searched the blue eyes that eh knew so well. He frowned and chewed at his lip.
"Why didn't you ever tell me any of this?" Jack asked.
"I would have listened. I want you to tell me when things are bothering you." Jack kissed hi forehead. "I'm not pulling anyone so you don't have to worry about that. And I'm sorry for my bedroom manners. I promise I'll do better. The whole Gwen thing is just an infatuation. I won't lie to you about that, but you don't have to worry about it. I chose you a long time ago."
"And Michael?" Ianto asked in a small voice.
"If he had stayed I would have helped him adapt, like we did with Emma. I would have had to Retcon him before letting him go and it would have hurt but not as much as it would have if I lost you." Jack smiled tenderly at him. "I'll admit that I don't know what it is you mean to me but I wouldn't choose anyone over you." He frowned now. "You haven't gone and pulled have you? I don't like the thought of you with someone else." His chest tightened at the thought of Ianto in bed with someone doing the things that Jack liked to do.
"No. There's only you." Ianto tentatively touched Jack's cheek. "There's just you."
Jack smiled and pulled him closer. "Good. Now, how about we go home and relax?" He glanced at the pizza that was getting cold. "I'm thinking bed. So, what do you want to do?"
"What do you mean?"
"You mentioned my fantasies before. Honestly I never thought of you as a sex toy. I really do enjoy being with you. Hell, I'd like to be your sex toy but you never tell me what you want." He frowned now as a thought came to him. "Am I not satisfying your needs?" That wasn't good. Jack prided himself on his bedroom skills. He had thought that Ianto enjoyed the things that they did together. Talk about a blow to the ego.
"It's not that…"
"Then tell me what you want." Jack pulled him from the wall and gathered the pizza and beer up, not letting go of Ianto's hand. "We're going home and you are going to tell me what you want me to do. And not just tonight. Every night, from now on. Got it?"
Ianto smiled at him as they reached the door.
"Well, I was thinking earlier about that thing you do with your tongue and my hand." At Jack's confused look he continued. "You start by kissing my fingers, then you suck on the skin between my thumb and forefinger…"
"You like that, then?" Ooh, details. Nice.
"Always sends shivers all the way through me."
"Really?" Jack squeezed his hand gently. "Then let's get home. I like shivers." He led Ianto out the door and to the SUV. "Are we okay?" he asked as they buckled up.
Ianto looked at their joined hands. He had seen the look in Jack's eyes at the thought of him being with anyone else. And he had seen the hurt in the blue orbs when he had accused him of having affairs. Things weren't perfect but then again, what was? He didn't want perfect. He wanted Jack.
"Yeah, we're okay."
As the SUV sped down the street towards Ianto's flat he thought about the way the evening had gone. It had been difficult and painful to deal with it all but he smiled as he realized something. The pain and worry had been worth it. Even if he could have a do-over of the day he wouldn't.
In fact, he wouldn't change anything.