Disclaimer:Torchwood is property of the BBC and, as much as we may now resent it, was created by Russell T. Davies. If I owned any of the canon characters, I'd hope they'd be a) better treated and b) actually consistent. Now pass the Retcon ... and possibly some strong coffee ;)
Jack massaged the bridge of his nose. Why was it he was so worried again? Because it was out of character. Always worry when one of the team acts out of character. Okay, so maybe practically gearing up a search party when he'd only been about ten minutes late was a bit of an overreaction.
Ianto Jones had been working for his Torchwood for no more than about a month, but he'd fit right in. He'd taken over the Archives in the first week, and the coffee and cleaning duties in his first hour. The other members of the team just accepted that Jack thought they needed him and he had the right qualifications for the job (even if he was from Torchwood London). The coffee was good and arrived at regular intervals without having to be asked for, so it didn't matter why he'd been hired. Obviously it hadn't escaped Suzie or Owen that he was very pretty, but after the way Jack had ranted and raged about him stalking him they could only assume that sex wasn't the only reason he'd been hired. They had brought a dinosaur that wasn't really a dinosaur back with them, after all.
So yes, Ianto Jones fit in with Torchwood – but that didn't necessarily mean he was fitting in with the team. He had worked his way in as part of the furniture – they got so used to him being there they only really registered his existence if they tripped over him. Or, in this case, if he wasn't there at all. Jack, however – and possibly Suzie, who had taken a bit of a shine to the young lamb – hadn't forgotten him. He and the Captain had struck up some kind of flirtatious banter. Just jokes, nothing really. But Jack's thoughts were crowded with one particular moment running through his head; of laughing and lying on the floor, realising they were on top of each other ... Ianto's nose against his lower lip ...
At exactly 7:50 am, Jack listened for the sound of the cog door rolling open. Silence. At 8 am, Toshiko rolled in, dropping her bag by her desk, throwing him a smile and faltering when she realised the cup of coffee that had been on her desk every morning without fail for the past 35 days wasn't there. At 8:07 am, Jack was out the door, calling to Tosh that he was going to start searching at Ianto's flat and see if there were any clues there.
And that was how Jack had wound up stood in Ianto's bedroom, massaging the bridge of his nose and staring at the young man in the bed, fast asleep in the suit he'd been wearing the day before and totally oblivious to the Captain in his room, the sun streaming through the blinds he hadn't bothered to close or the alarm blaring on the table by his head. Exhaustion. Complete and utter exhaustion. That's why he was late.
Ianto was lying on his back, he legs slightly curled to the side and a fist loosely curled on either side of his head, like a baby. There were lots and lots of cushions surrounding him, as well as a bed throw and a bolster. They were flowery – the kind a woman would choose – and one half of the pile of soft, inviting cushions was completely untouched. As if waiting for someone else to occupy the bed.
"... girlfriend: Lisa Hallett."
Jack had seen enough of the flat to know that most of the furnishings and picture frames and scatter cushions had been picked by a woman. He'd seen the photographs too. Pretty much all of them contained Ianto and a beautiful girl, with skin the colour of chocolate and dark, kind eyes. The way Ianto looked at her, you could tell she was his world.
Jack turned the alarm off, leaving Ianto to sleep. He was too deeply gone to be kindly woken, and if the alarm wasn't bringing him to consciousness when it had obviously been blaring for over half an hour he clearly needed the rest. Going back into the living room, which was still a maze of boxes, Jack cast his eye over the scattered photographs on the floor in the corner. There was a cushion on the floor too, where Ianto had sat and gone through them and decided which ones to stick in a large album with "Ianto and Lisa 2004-6" written on the side. Near that there was a large square box, like a large chocolate box, propped against the wall. There was a logo of different sized squares peppered all over it, and it opened by a slot in the front like a giant cardboard envelope. Ianto was still unconscious, so Jack decided a quick look wouldn't hurt.
The cardboard where one bit slotted into the next was frayed and tearing where it had obviously been opened and closed many times. The box was about 3x3 feet, and inside was a photograph in a frame the same size. It was meant for above a fireplace or a television, judging from the size, and it basically said everything anyone inquiring would need to know about the couple in the picture. It was black and white, tinted with a slight blue. Ianto and the gorgeous woman from the other photographs were lying on their stomachs. Lisa was looking off into the distance in what was obviously an expression practiced in the mirror to make her even more photogenic. Ianto had his arm around her, a slight smile playing on his lips. His face was pointed more towards the camera than his girlfriend, but his eyes were on her and, like in every other picture of them together, they were saying "You are my world."
Jack folded the cardboard back around the photograph, wishing he hadn't looked. He'd said "girlfriend" quite flippantly when he'd spoken to Ianto that time. He was now starting to think they might have been considering much closer commitment. Ianto was clearly not coping very well. He'd moved from London to Cardiff and hadn't bought his own things. The female presence was felt in the flat the second you walked in. Jack half expected Lisa to wander in and start tutting about mess and men and why have you moved my vase from the window sill to the table?
Interested a little now, Jack flicked through the large photo album. It was all Ianto and Lisa, and several other people who he assumed were their Torchwood friends. They all seemed to be out on the town, wearing now battered Marks and Sparks suits. Some of them were wearing empty pint glasses on their heads, some girls had opened their jackets and yanked down their tops to reveal the tops of their bras and a helluva lot of cleavage. Ianto and Lisa always seemed to be in the middle of it all, kissing or laughing or dancing. In one of them, one that made Jack actually laugh, Ianto and a couple of other young guys in suits were in some kind of strip club, stood in a line with Lisa crouched in front of them holding a big sign saying "Middle-Management Night Out!" and underneath in Ianto's handwriting:"Boo Ya!"
Sighing, Jack put the album back down. He went back through and saw Ianto was still dead to the world. Dead to the world. Dead. Shit! Jack checked his pulse, wondering why he hadn't done that before, and was relieved to feel a steady, resting heartbeat. Maybe he hadn't considered the thought that Ianto might kill himself before because he hadn't really thought he'd had a reason to. Jack acknowledge sadly that Ianto hadn't just thrown himself into this job because he'd really wanted it and wanted to help, but because he needed to lose himself in being busy. Helping to fight what killed his Lisa.
He needed someone to talk to, Jack decided. He perched on the edge of the IKEA bed, his knees nearly meeting his chin it was that low down. Putting a hand on Ianto's hip, he shook him gently. The sleeping Ianto groaned a little. Jack shook him again, and was greeted by a sleepy slur of "You're fucking insatiable you are." Jack massaged the bridge of his nose again, sadly. He reached out and properly shook Ianto again, having to be quite forceful. Two bleary, blue eyes finally prised themselves open, registering who was sat on the side of his bed. He sat bolt upright, confused. Jack looked pointedly at the clock, and Ianto followed his gaze.
"SHIT!" yelped Ianto, springing to his feet, running to the bathroom with a suit that was already laid out on a chair and calling back to Jack. "Sorry sir. Won't happen again, sir. Just ... working hard, sir. I hope I haven't caused too much trouble. Would you like anything to eat, sir? There's stuff in the fridge. I think. Would you like coffee, sir?"
Jack waited patiently for the stream of apologies and offers of food and coffee to stop. He found that he'd remained on the bed, but didn't really notice until Ianto came back, wearing his new suit and looking like he'd got up hours ago to make himself perfect instead of minutes.
"Ianto, we need to talk." Said Jack sombrely. Ianto looked terrified.
"Wha-... what about, sir? I ... please don't fire me!" he moved in front of Jack and dropped to his knees, clearly prepared to beg.
Jack swatted playfully at his face, unsure why he had. "Of course you're not fired. Don't be silly. I'm worried about you, is all." He pulled Ianto up to sit on the bed beside him, noticing how Ianto seemed to recoil from being touched and sat far enough from him so that their limbs couldn't accidentally brush. "I think we need to talk about how you're coping with the death of your girlfriend."
He felt Ianto stop. "I ... er ... fine, s-sir. Fine." He tried a reassuring smile. Jack knew he wouldn't talk without being given space to be ready to first. He made the clichéd offer, putting it out there for Ianto to grasp when he knew it was getting too much.
"Well, if you need someone to talk to, I'm here. Well ... maybe not here." He suggestively glanced towards the bed. Ianto smiled a little. "But at the hub."
Ianto nodded, not quite meeting his eye.
"Well," Jack heaved himself up. The bed really was far too low. Bought for fashion more than practicality. It was basically a posh frame for a mattress on the floor. Ooh! - imagine having sex with Ianto on a mattress on the floor! ... shit. Better get the hell out of there. "I'll go on ahead. Don't rush yourself. Only come in if you you're not tired any more. I thought you were dead when I got here!"
He swept out, hoping Ianto wasn't one of those telepathic projects Torchwood One had been working on and had prised open his mind to read rather graphic thoughts about Iantos and mattresses and floors.
Jack watched Ianto over the next few days. He seemed perfectly normal. Cheerful, graceful and sartorially elegant as the Captain had labelled "usual". Jack also began to notice his little quirks and idiosyncrasies. He looked at how he held himself: with perfect posture when people were looking; slightly slumped and small when he thought they weren't. Ianto seemed to constantly be moving, yet seemed so still at the same time. He was dry and sarcastic, but wasn't afraid to properly laugh out loud. When he was more relaxed, Jack began to see the happy young man from the pictures he'd found in Ianto's flat.
He wasn't completely happy, though, despite the aura he projected. Ianto wanted to be invisible, and unless he was called into the group or had a suggestion to make, he remained so. There was something else not right, too. Jack couldn't quite put his finger on it, but the more he secretly watched Ianto, the more he had a nagging feeling something was blatantly, obviously not right. He was missing something right in front of him.
Deciding to leave Ianto to come to him in his own time, Jack let him do what he wanted. He didn't crowd him, didn't probe him, didn't prod him to tell him how he felt or what he thought. He'd come to Jack when he was ready, and Jack was sure of it.
Then Lisa happened. Jack had recognised her the second he saw her. Her face was half hidden in metal and shadow and her eyes were no longer kind, but he knew it was her. The beautiful woman in Ianto's photographs of happier times.
Jack had Ianto on his knees before him and a gun to his head and all the anger he needed to pull the trigger. What was stopping him? He didn't want to know, so he kept asking questions. Questions he knew the answers to already. He knew her name was Lisa. He knew she was his girlfriend. He knew she was supposed to be dead.
Ianto hadn't got rid of her things because he'd wanted her to come back and live with him. Ianto hadn't touched her side of the bed because that's where Lisa was going to sleep. Ianto had kept the portrait of them together because when she came home, she'd help him hang it. Ianto had left her vase on the table so that she could come back from work and complain it had been moved from the window sill.
Jack couldn't kill him. Jack couldn't kill him because all he'd truly done was love too much. He couldn't shoot him. All he'd done was try and save a life. He did not act out of hate. He acted out of love, and if Jack turned actions of love into a crime, he would be no better than a cold hearted dictator. Ianto was young. He could learn. He deserved another chance.
The only time Jack truly faltered was right at the end, when Annie had been shot down."If she isn't dead in ten minutes, then I'll execute you both!" he'd threatened. Lisa hadn't been dead when they'd got there and Ianto was still alive. He had stepped out, into the smoke and the Captain's line of fire, and he looked at him. Ianto looked at him. He waited, for only a couple of seconds, for Jack to carry out his threat .. even though the defiant little bastard knew that he wouldn't.
Ianto came back after suspension to a cold hub. He'd spent a little time with Jack, not really talking. Just Jack keeping him company. Making of show of caring.
Owen had barely spoken to him, but at least there were no snide remarks. Gwen was Gwen. Comforting smiles, trying to include him. Making him feel worse. Toshiko was the kindest. She bought him coffee, clearly sorry for almost disregarding him before. He'd let her hug him, and it had felt nice. He hadn't hugged anyone for so long. Ianto decided that Tosh would most likely be his friend, and she was more than happy to invite him over for pizza and chess.
They didn't talk about real things, though. Just books and telly and why they do what they do. Ianto found companionship with her. He could sense she had darker secrets too, and knew that he would never press her to tell him what they were. She didn't press him, either. She talked about the here and now, thinking about the future. Talking about going to visit her mum in Japan and what she might get her little brother for his next birthday. Ianto waited patiently to feel comfortable around Toshiko, and it didn't really take long. She took care of him, and he needed that. What he needed more, though, was a confidant. Someone to confess to. Someone who he could talk to about the bubbling confusion inside of him that he didn't understand and needed someone clever and bright and kind like Tosh to help talk him through.
They didn't talk about real things, though. Just books and telly and why they do what they do. Ianto found companionship with her. He could sense she had darker secrets too, and knew that he would never press her to tell him what they were. She didn't press him, either. She talked about the here and now, thinking about the future. Talking about going to visit her mum in Japan and what she might get her little brother for his next birthday.
Ianto waited patiently to feel comfortable around Toshiko, and it didn't really take long. She took care of him, and he needed that. What he needed more, though, was a confidant. Someone to confess to. Someone who he could talk to about the bubbling confusion inside of him that he didn't understand and needed someone clever and bright and kind like Tosh to help talk him through.
Ianto was attracted to a man, and he didn't quite know what to make of that. He'd never considered sexual feelings for a man before, let alone positive attraction. So soon after Lisa, too. It made him feel guilty. Especially since he was attracted to Captain Jack Harkness.
The hub was powered down as usual for 11pm. Jack had been Weevil hunting, and the lucky bitch had taken a good swipe at his back. The injury wasn't fatal, so would take a while to heal unless he died again sometime soon. Blood was seeping through his shirt, and his split skin was stinging like crazy. Yanking off his sodden shirts, he put his hands on his desk and leant on it with his back to the door. He closed his eyes, feeling the pain of having the material peeled away so quickly mixed with the cold of his office air. He heard a sharp intake of breath behind him.
"Good god, that looks painful!"
It was Ianto. Still at the hub. Still working.
Jack turned to him slightly. "It's not as bad as it looks." He assured him, but Ianto was already coming in for a closer look. Jack decided he didn't mind so much.
"It'll have to be cleaned. Wait here, sir." Ianto hurried off to the medical bay to fetch disinfectant, surgical wipes, plasters, bandages, wads, gauze, cotton wool, Savlon cream – anything that he thought might help. He returned in less than two minutes, looking worried. Jack liked that he looked worried. Normally he never expressed anything other than polite inquisitiveness.
Jack straddled Owen's chair while Ianto powered up the hub to give them more light. He hissed through his teeth when he felt a cold surgical wipe touch the inflamed skin around his wound.
"Sorry." Said Ianto, removing the wipe quickly.
"It's fine, it's fine. Just ignore me. Do what you have to."
He was sure he heard Ianto repeat the words "Do what you have to" under his breath, but was distracted by the pain in his back as Ianto gently wiped away the blood. He caught their reflections in the corner of his eye in one of the screens on Owen's desk. Ianto was stood as far away from him as he could, holding the wipe out at arm's length, touching him only through the damp cotton.
A light switched on in Jack's brain with an almost comical "Ta-Da!" as he realised one of the things about Ianto he'd never felt was quite right – and probably lead to the whole Lisa fiasco being so out of the blue.
Ianto didn't touch anyone, and no one touched Ianto. Jack didn't bother putting a hand on his shoulder because he'd soon learnt Ianto didn't like it. He'd recoiled away from Suzie's attempts to get into his personal space and went rigid whenever Toshiko leant a hand on the back of his chair. Gwen had had no luck with her kind pats and touches. Owen had attempted a friendly punch on the arm and Ianto had been so shocked by the contact he'd more or less run away as soon as he could. No bodies brushed accidentally, no friendly hugs or squeezes ... nothing. As little contact as possible.
Jack frowned to himself. Maybe that was just Ianto. Maybe he had Autistic tendencies or something ...
No. In the photographs ... in the photographs he'd been pressed up against everyone; he'd had his arms around a thousand different girls; there were crowds of people pressing in on him at every angle with hands and arms and bodies groping to get close to him, like he was the centre of some kind of energy. He was kissing his friends, too. On the cheek, on the lips: men and women – it didn't matter. They were friends. He loved them.
Ianto didn't touch people anymore. Perhaps after the cold steel of the men at Canary Wharf, he couldn't.
Ianto was talking to him, pulling him out of his epiphany.
"Sir? Can you hear me?"
Jack blinked and smiled at him. "Sorry ... miles away."
"Well, the best way to deal with pain is to put the mind elsewhere."
Jack nodded. "Yeah ..." Jack decided not to ask whether Ianto had read that fact somewhere or knew from firsthand experience. He hoped the former. Or maybe he was talking about emotional pain?
Gauze and padding was being pressed firmly to his back, and he hissed a little. He felt fingers holding the beginning of a roll of bandage and heard Ianto ask to pass it along his front and back under his arm to wrap the wound and hold the dressing in place. They did it a few times, and the final time Jack let their fingers touch as the remainder of material changed hands. He felt a twitch in Ianto's fingers, as if he was about to reach out and grab the rest of Jack's hand.
"I'll ... er ... I'll fetch you some Paracetamol, sir." Mumbled Ianto, running back to autopsy with what Jack could only describe as 'dignified hurry'. He returned with the pills and some orange juice, putting them on the table so that he didn't have to touch Jack's hands again. He glided off again, this time to fetch a clean shirt. The Captain downed the tablets and waited for Ianto's return.
By the time Ianto came back, Jack knew what he was going to say.
Ianto seemed to still. "Yes, sir?"
"Why don't you let anyone touch you?"
"I just ... I ... that's a very personal question, sir." He looked a little worried, as if any moment a gate inside his head was going to open and let everything out. Ianto decided to try and get away. Jack grabbed his arm, without really thinking.
"Stay." He said softly. Ianto stared at his arm, Jack's hand still holding him firmly. He dropped his gaze to the floor, but seemed to shuffle closer, more into the grip. Jack squeezed a little, and Ianto's eyes moved to nowhere in particular, glazing over and glistening with tears.
Jack considered the situation. Tried to put himself in Ianto's shoes, into his obviously self-destructive thought pattern. Judging from those photographs, contact had been important to him. Physical contact – a touch of hands, an arm over the shoulders or around the waist, kisses: he liked to be touched. What was one of the first things being converted into a Cyberman robbed from you? The ability to feel. A metal body pressed against a metal body meant nothing. No warmth, no companionship, no comfort – the Cybermen couldn't even feel warmth or companionship or comfort. . Ianto's friends couldn't feel warmth and companionship or comfort ... so why should Ianto?
Suddenly, Jack was nearly thrown off balance as Ianto's body was pressed against his. Arms crossed over his chest and sobbing into Jack's shoulder, Ianto was begging to be held. Jack crushed him to him. 'He denies himself touch in guilt.' thought Jack.
As Ianto's sobs stilled, Jack could feel his breath on is bare chest. He'd somehow managed to forget he was topless, lost in comforting the sobbing man in his arms. Ianto seemed to have suddenly realised that Jack was shirtless, too. He was still holding him, but a little awkward. He raised his cheek away from Jack's skin and then ... he kissed his shoulder.
It was a light, ghost of a kiss, almost experimental, but it was a kiss. Jack kept hold of him, but relaxed his grip a little, letting Ianto know it was alright. Ianto tried to step back a bit, then thought better of it. His hands were on Jack's naked shoulders and they were eye-to-eye. Surely he wasn't so tall? Jack thought of memory impressions, and how you remember people as you see them. Ianto made himself small, so people remembered him that way.
"You can do that again, if you like." Jack said softly. Ianto's eyes darted from his shoulder and back to Jack's. He leaned his head back towards the curve of Jack's neck, and let his lips touch the skin again. And again. And again. He became more confident, moving up from Jack's shoulder to his neck, putting his arms back around the Captain's back. Jack moaned happily, and Ianto froze and remembered himself.
He tore himself away from Jack's neck, paused face-to-face and hesitated.
"I have to go." he said, his voice a little hoarse from his tears.
Ianto bolted out of the door before Jack could process what happened.
The first thing Jack did when Ianto walked in the next morning was squeeze his shoulder. Just gently, non-intrusive and with a friendly smile.
"When you need a hug, or a cuddle ... or even a snuggle ... you come to me, okay?" said Jack. Ianto seemed to search his face, looking for the joke, seeing if he was being laughed at. He gave Jack a small nod and hurried off towards the coffee machine.
The Captain watched him go, cursing the lust that welled up in his groin.
Jack found Ianto in Lisa's basement. He was lying in the middle of the floor where the conversion table had been, staring at the ceiling. Jack didn't approach him, but watched him for a while. His eyes were open and glassy, as if not really seeing, but his chest rose and fell with steady breathing. He didn't cry or smile or do or say anything. He just lay there, where Lisa had been.
The fifth time in a week Jack caught him doing it, he decided to intervene. He cautiously entered the room, startling Ianto a little with his footfalls. He sat up, leaning on his elbows and looking like he'd been caught doing something he shouldn't.
"Don't look so guilty." Said Jack, sitting down next to him.
"I'm sorry, sir."
"You don't need to be. I understand why you're here, but this has to stop."
Ianto gazed at him, wounded. Jack looked away for a second, then put an arm around him and gave him his best comforting smile.
"Lying here ... you're not remembering Lisa. The thing you brought to live in this room wasn't your girlfriend. It was a monster. Cold and heartless. It used you – your warmth and your compassion and your love – it used all your good qualities and destroyed you. You coming here means it's still destroying you."
Ianto was crying, but starting to lean into Jack's touch. "What should I do?" he whispered.
"Go to your flat at the end of the day. Take out your photographs. Remember that Lisa, with her beautiful smile and her kind eyes."
"I've tried," Ianto's voice was deep and grizzled. "But ... I just get them out and ... an ... and get to a certain point ... and ... and ..."
"... and you know it's going to end soon." Jack finished grimly. He felt Ianto's gaze on the side of his face. "Take them out of the albums and the envelopes. Shuffle them in a big stack and look through them that way. They lose their order. You never know which one will come next and the foreboding of the end of the album disappears."
"You ... know?" choked Ianto.
Jack nodded. "I know."
Ianto snaked a tentative arm around him and gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze. Jack pulled him close properly then, and they held each other, lost in their individual pain, until Owen's voice crackled through their headsets and they had to face the world again.
Ianto didn't go back to Lisa's basement. He started going to Jack instead.
They started just holding each other. After the others had gone home and Jack's over shirt had come off and his braces were hanging by his sides, they would sit together on the couch in the main area or stand in the middle of Jack's office and hug. Jack knew that once Ianto was healed and finished mourning, he would move on and this would end. He just wanted to help him.
It was nothing sexual. They were both just in need of physical contact, someone to share pain without making them 'talk it through'. They needed companionship, and Jack was more than happy to offer his to Ianto as long as he needed it.
They never really spoke, and if they did it was about Torchwood.
Jack loved and hated their relationship. He loved being able to be so close to Ianto for so long, to be the one Ianto trusted. He was friendly with Toshiko, but it was Jack he held on to. The Captain wanted more, though. In this time period, the chances of Ianto returning that want were slim – apart from the first time they'd properly touched, and Ianto had kissed his shoulder and neck, and Jack had thought ...
But he'd run away. He was confused. He hadn't been touched for so long. He'd have kissed any warm body, Jack told himself. No matter how amazingly hot that warm body had happened to be.
Ianto was coming to him less and less and staying for shorter periods of time. Jack wanted to give him a reason to stay, but thought of none. He couldn't turn round and say "Stay here tonight, Ianto. Maybe this time I'll get to screw you over my desk for no other reason than you're effing gorgeous in those suits." Jack sighed and pinched his nose.
After letting Jasmine go, no one would talk to him. The SUV was silent as he drove them all back to the hub, and when they got there all they did was huff and sigh and scowl. They typed up their reports and finished their paperwork and left without saying goodbye. Jack sat behind his desk and he felt so alone. He wished Ianto would start staying again. He hadn't realised at the time, but maybe he'd needed Ianto as much as he'd needed him. He missed him.
As if on cue, Ianto appeared out of nowhere. He had two mugs in his hands and a Tesco bag with pastries in it. He placed them on the office desk while Jack watched him, and the scent of good hot chocolate and marshmellows filled their nostrils. Ianto stepped back and smiled at him, waiting to see what might happen.
"Sit?" Jack asked. Ianto smiled and took the seat opposite him, pushing one of the mugs closer to his side of the table.
"The others ... they ... told me what happened." Ventured Ianto.
Jack hesitated, as if waiting for Ianto to finish the sentence with a judgement or criticism or feedback. None came.
"And you drew the short straw to come and tell me they're all quitting?" joked Jack. Ianto smiled slightly, sipping his hot chocolate. Jack tried not to look when a little pink tongue flicked out over reddish lips, but it was hard. A comfortable silence fell between them.
After a while, Jack decided to ask the question that had been burning in his chest for months.
"Have you ... have you ever had sex with a man?"
He saw Ianto swallow, his eyes averted. Jack was careful not hold his breath as he waited for his answer.
"Why?" asked Ianto, his voice low.
"Because I need you."
"You hold me." He was sitting up straight now, but leaning forward and looking Jack in the eye.
"I want more." Replied Jack. He spoke soft, not wanting to sound predatory. Ianto was still staring at him, and he saw those cool blue eyes slide down to Jack's lips. He parted his own slightly.
"You want ... you want a fuck buddy?" he said.
"Oh ... okay then."
"I'll be your fuck buddy."
Silence fell again. Ianto stared at the contents of his mug, deep in thought. Jack sipped at his own hot chocolate, feeling distinctly pleased with himself and occasionally glancing up at Ianto while he sorted through his last bits of paperwork. Eventually, midnight reared its head.
Jack rose from his chair as Ianto made to leave, intending to repeat his question from earlier upon realising Ianto had never actually answered it. Ianto, however, spoke first.
"You did the right thing." He said suddenly.
"What?" asked Jack, momentarily confused.
"With Jasmine ... you did the right thing." Said Ianto, nodding on the word 'right' as if it might make it a little more true.
Jack's face softened. Ianto's acceptance meant a lot to him, but he didn't dare think why. "Thank you." was all he could say. Ianto smiled and turned to go, but Jack caught his wrist.
"You never answered my question." He implored. Ianto's frowned a little. "Have you ever had sex with a man?"
Ianto blinked. "No. I ... I've never even kissed another man." His eyes slipped too obviously to Jack's mouth. Jack didn't need telling twice.
'Okay, Jack' said an internal voice. 'First time is the one he'll always remember, so make it bloody good.'
The Captain raised a hand to Ianto's face, stroking the tips of his fingers along the cheekbone, to the temple and down his jawline to his chin. Jack moved his face closer slowly, letting Ianto decide whether or not to meet him part way, making sure he knew what Jack intended to do. Their lips finally touched, and Jack just about saw Ianto's eyes flutter closed as he pressed a chaste kiss to his mouth. Jack pulled back slightly, waiting to see if Ianto wanted to continue. Ianto's jaw raised slightly, lips parting a little in invitation.
The hand that was still holding Ianto's wrist slipped behind his waist and pulled him closer as Jack brought their lips together again. This time, he lingered longer and felt, to his surprise, Ianto's tongue eager for entrance to his mouth. He allowed it, reciprocating and tasting hot chocolate, coffee and nicotine as a reward. Jack was cupping the back of Ianto's head, and finally Ianto was growing in confidence and allowing his arms to pull their bodies closer.
Eventually they broke apart. Ianto stepped back, a little out of reach, but less as a defence mechanism and more through his need to leave before he could start kissing Jack again. Jack smiled at him. "Well?"
"It was ... different. Stubbly." Laughed Ianto, a little embarrassed. Jack gave a small laugh. A semi-awkward silence fell. Ianto wondered if Jack had taken that as negative feedback. "It was nice." He added. Jack raised his eyes to him. "I liked it."
Jack moved closer. "I could tell." He whispered, predatory. He made to touch the bulge in Ianto's trousers, but he slipped away from him.
"Don't." He gasped. "Not ... Not yet. I'm not ready for that yet."
"I just thought ... sorry."
"Really it's fine. I just ... it's like losing my virginity again. I'd like to know it's going to happen a bit before it does."
"Heh. I see."
"I'll ... er ... I'll see you later. Goodbye, sir."
And with that Ianto was making his way to the door. He didn't walk too quickly, Jack could see his gait was comfortable, but he was still leaving too quickly for Jack's liking.
"Ianto?" he called, and Ianto hesitated just inside the cog door. "Tomorrow ... dy'a wanna sneak down to the Archives and make out like teenagers?"
"Yeah. Okay" Ianto smiled.
"Two o clock?"
"You have to make a phone call to the UNIT general at two, sir."
"Ah ... ten past two?"
Ianto laughed. "Three."
"Three." Said Ianto firmly. "Oh ... and don't tell the others about this."
Jack noted the lack of 'sir' on the end of that statement. "I don't get to show off?" he said, semi-pouting.
"No, sir. You don't."
"You're very demanding."
Ianto gave a wicked smile that Jack hadn't thought his features were capable of creating. It was full of promise – a very seductive promise.
"Believe me, sir. You have no idea."
Finally, five to three came around. Jack watched Ianto as he scooted off down to the Archives, and the Captain waited a little.
"Where's Ianto?" he asked to the room of people who were still being arsey with him.
"Archives." Said Toshiko bluntly.
"Thanks. That definitely narrowed it down, Toshiko."
Toshiko gave him a pointed look, then began typing. "His heat signal is in the first level. I think he's filing away that football we found."
"The one that doesn't make a sound when you bounce it?"
"Heh. You know, I once met a man who's balls didn't ..." he stopped at the three disapproving looks that were shot his way. "So ... he'll be in Harmless Miscellaneous, then?"
Jack sighed. Stupid team. Still ... Ianto Time!
When Jack found him, he had his jacket draped over a chair and his sleeves rolled up. There were several heavy-looking Archive containers knocking around that he'd obviously had to pull down to get to the one he needed. At the moment, Ianto was bouncing the football over and over again. He bounced it off the walls, off the metal containers, off the wooden desk; he marvelled every time he did it that there was no hollow reverberation. Then he did something that none of the other team members had thought to do: He held it on his fingertips, and struck it with his pen. The normal hollow sound met his ears, and he frowned in confusion.
"Never thought of doing that." Said Jack, leaning on the nearest metal container unit with his hands in his pockets.
"That's because you're not Welsh." Said Ianto, as if it explained everything. He took Jack's silence as meaning 'Do continue as I am not familiar with this theory' . "Well ... smack it with something first, see what it does ... ask questions later."
Jack smiled. Ianto put the ball in a container and turned to him. "I believe we had an appointment?" he said.
"Yep. I think it was ... make out like teenagers?"
"I think I can remember how to do that ... it's you I'm more worried about."
"Cheek!" said Jack in mock indignation, but he decided he liked cheeky Ianto. He was getting more confident now, and Jack was really starting to like him on a deeper than personal level as well as for his prettiness.
"I'll lean against the wall." Said Ianto, as if he had suddenly become a Blue Peter presenter. "You can lean on me." He moved and leant with his back flat against the wall, his ankles crossed and his fingers linked behind him. He'd knowledgably positioned himself to appear broader and more relaxed – and that smile! That wicked little smile was back and Jack had closed the distance between him and It in less than three strides.
Making out in the Archives became a daily ritual. They only did it when the rest of the team were working hard, taking extra satisfaction in skiving off, and they would time themselves on an antique stopwatch Jack had found in the Clothing and Accessories section on their second day in the Archives. He decided to commit the way to and from that particular section to memory, as the high volume of uniforms from militia past and present – from Custer to UNIT – would probably be very useful when they got to the "Fuck" part of their "Fuck Buddy" agreement.
After a fortnight, their trips to the Archives had become a twice-a-day thing. Ianto was learning a lot about how to kiss Jack just so, and Jack was going silently crazy for him. He wasn't going to rush Ianto, though. Jack really was happy just sneaking off with him and kissing him. He managed to make his hands behave, and when he did finally venture to touch Ianto's arse he was rewarded with a moan of pleasure and the first time Ianto would voluntarily grind them together.
Jack would find himself smiling, and not really registering why. His coffee was now accompanied with little Italian biscuits, and the team seemed to be softening on him. Jack had noticed only once a pointed look from Ianto to Gwen after she'd been a little cold, and Jack assumed Ianto had had words. He thought it was sweet. Ianto was looking after him.
He was happy to take it slow with Ianto. The best things come to those who wait, and Jack had an eternity to wait in. Ianto would let him go all the way he wanted when he was ready, and Jack wasn't going to pressure him. He didn't need to. Plenty of time. After all, real, long-lasting love didn't happen overnight.
Jack froze as the thought innocently crossed his mind. 'Real love'? Jack didn't feel that kind of attraction to him, surely? He bit his lip, staring absently at the form he needed to fill in. 'Now isn't the time to be falling in love, Jack Harkness.' Said his internal reason. Another voice chipped up and countered it. 'Now is always the time for falling in love.'
A knock on the door brought him out of his reverie. Ianto. Perfect posture, perfect suit and perfect timing.
"The others have been called out to a Rift flare, sir. There's a residual energy signal from here to just outside Abergavenny." Ianto informed him. "Nothing too serious, but they think something living might have come through and just ran for it."
"Oh. It's run pretty far ..." Said Jack. "They didn't think to tell me?"
"I said I would. The further away the creature gets, the harder it will be to contain the situation, sir."
"True, true." Agreed Jack. Every second could count. "So ... they're going to be gone a while?"
"They're working hard ... and we're not?"
"For once, sir."
"Fancy being adventurous?"
"Let's make out like teenagers right here."
Ianto smiled a little. "Actually ... I was thinking ... they're going to be gone for about four hours."
"Yeah ... ?"
"Maybe we could ... be really adventurous. Sir."
Jack quirked his eyebrow. "You want to have sex?"
Ianto rolled his eyes so hard they nearly took his head with him. "Haven't you ever heard of polite conversation? Euphemism? Er .... ah ... sir?" he spluttered.
Jack stood, thinking to himself that one day, Ianto would be able to tell him exactly what he wanted. Exactly how he wanted it, too. He lightly took his hand, squeezing gently.
"Okay." He pointed to the hole in the floor. "To my boudoir?"
They both somehow managed to get into Jack's room without ever losing physical contact. They were kissing, slowly and gently. Ianto had requested that Jack be gentle with him these first few times, let him get used to this new way of having sex until he had learned enough of Jack to give him what he wanted.
Slipping the suit jacket of his shoulders first, Jack moved to undo Ianto's tie. He growled in frustration as the complicated knot Ianto had elected to use stumped him. Ianto smirked patiently at him as he tried in vain to undo all the wraps and weaves.
"Never had to undo a Windsor before?" Ianto asked, getting a little worried he may end up being strangled by Jack's shoddy attempt at his tie. "Here." He showed him the last few weaves and removed it with a slick movement.
"I was just going to pull the knot until it came off." Said Jack, a little miffed. "I thought you'd appreciate it if I showed your clothes a little more respect."
"Shut up, sir." said Ianto, pulling him by the back of the neck into a kiss. Jack nimbly began to unfasten Ianto's shirt buttons while Ianto was pulling down his braces and moving to Jack's buttons.
"I've got that stopwatch in my pocket." Grunted Jack, popping open the front of Ianto's silver belt buckle.
"Why would we need that now?"
Jack looked at him. Poor, innocent little Ianto. "Think about it. Lots of things you can do with a stopwatch." He emphasised his words by taking Ianto's hand an pressing it against his hard cock.
"I'm guessing ... there's quite a list ..." he breathed. Jack growled approval, and kissed him again, working more shirt buttons free and loosening the belt some more.
Then the Rift alert sounded.
Jack grizzled with frustration, while Ianto sighed and hurried up the ladder, his shirt deliciously untucked and his belt coming loose.
"It looks quite big." He called back.
'And not in the way you'd like it, Jack.' taunted a voice in the Captain's head. "Get dressed." Eugh. He hated saying those words. "We'll have to check it out."
The next day, they had started bringing corpses back. As an 'in' joke, Jack had tossed their stopwatch to Ianto, hoping he got the message that he intended on carrying on their little rendez vous from yesterday at some point later on.
That 'point' later on came eventually, but unfortunately, Jack and Ianto wouldn't be.
Suzie had escaped. They had to stop half undressed and do something.
Ianto had been barely got his clothes back on when the lockdown happened, and he grabbed a torch in order to find Jack and learn what the hell was going on.
He took it as very little comfort that Jack didn't know either.
Jack couldn't help but beam at Ianto when he got that phone signal. Brilliant little Ianto. Brilliant little Ianto who had love bites hidden under his brilliantly white shirt.
Suzie's wrath, however, pushed all thought of kisses and sex and fuck buddies and stopwatches from their minds. She was murdering Gwen. Lovely, sweet Gwen. Tricking her and using her and killing her. Ianto hated Suzie at that moment more than he ever had in the three months he'd actually known her. She was worse than the Lisa Monster.
Jack liked the suit that Ianto had been wearing that day. It was his favourite. The day of him wearing it, however, had been wasted. From Jack's libido's point of view, anyway. He felt disappointed in his obsession with sex at a time like this, but he and Ianto had already had two interrupted attempts at the act and Jack was leaning towards desperate.
He wandered down to the morgue to do the final death certificate for Suzie, and found Ianto there. He felt relief flush through him. Jack really hadn't wanted to do it. He'd wanted to take her body out to the bay, tie it to rocks and let it drop to the bottom of the sea for fish food.
Feeling comfortable with being casual and relaxed around Ianto – even so near to Suzie's body – he leant back against the wall.
"If you're interested ... I've still got that stopwatch?"
Jack was lost in thought for a second. He didn't properly get it. "Ohh kay?"
"Think about it ... lots of things you can do with a stopwatch." Ianto smiled.
Ohhh the wicked smile! Jack was 'in'! YAY! SEX!
"Oh yeah." He laughed, maintaining a casualness to his words. "I can think of a few."
"There's quite a list ..."
It took Ianto eight minutes to get to Jack's office. He smiled to himself. Always early.
He'd poured scotch into two tumblers ready, and his overshirt was over his chair and his braces slung low over his hips. The others were gratefully sent home early and the hub was powered down.
Ianto walked in, closing the door behind him and taking a deep breath. Jack took a deep breath, too. This was it.
He slipped an arm around Ianto's waist from behind, flattening his hand on his stomach and pulling him back into him. Ianto stared at the floor. With all their previous interruptions, a lot of tension had built up and Ianto was feeling a bit nervous. There surely couldn't be anything to stop them now.
Jack nuzzled into Ianto's neck, massaging his stomach gently and trying to make him relax.
"Please, Jack." Whispered Ianto. Jack had never heard Ianto mutter his name before. "Just do it."
In less than five minutes, they were naked in Jack's office. Ianto had grown in confidence as he'd been kissed and touched and undressed, but was still wary of being as intimate with Jack. The Captain felt a little exasperation, and gently placed Ianto's hand onto his cock, forcing his pale fingers to wrap around it and squeeze a little. Jack moaned as Ianto began to awkwardly stroke him up and down, obviously not used to what he was doing.
"Experiment." Whispered Jack, leaning back on his desk so that his hips were thrust up from his body. He hissed though his teeth as a thumb swiped the head of his dick, and he felt Ianto's little glow of victory without seeing the satisfied smile.
Ianto squeezed and stroked him, then moved closer to kiss his mouth and stroke their tongues together as he became more confident he could make Jack moan. Ianto quickly learnt and adapted to a rhythm that would have Jack coming all over them both if he was allowed to continue, so Jack had to grab his wrist and make him stop.
"Did I do it wrong?" asked Ianto.
"No ... you were doing it too right ..." gasped Jack. "Had ... had to stop ... Here. Here ... you stand here ... let me ... let me suck your cock ..."
Ianto leant against the desk as Jack had done, arching back slightly so that his hips were thrust a little forward. His breath sharpened when Jack gripped his cock firmly and dropped to his knees before him.
"You can come as soon as you want." Jack told him. "Don't hold back. Just enjoy yourself." Ianto nodded, his cock reacting to the sight of the Captain on his knees before him, lips parted to kiss and lick it.
Ianto actually cried out when tongue and dick met. He was normally a quiet lover, but Jack's tongue was evil. His knuckled whited as gripped the edges of the desk, gasping as the hot, wet muscle flattened on his shaft, probed and lapped at his head and ... oh god ... Jack had taken him deep into his mouth. Deeper than his mouth. Into his neck ...
Ianto came, biting his lip, with the restraint of a thirteen year old having a wet dream. Jack was pleased though. "Five minutes three seconds." He said, clicking off the stopwatch Ianto hadn't know had been set off. "And Ianto ... aren't you a big boy!"
Laughing, a little embarrassed, he thought of something to fill the moment. "H ... how did you do ... that?"
"Give you a blow job?"
"The bit at the end ... y'know ... when you."
"Just bloody say it."
"How could you take me into your throat? So deep? What about gagging?"
Jack laughed. God, Ianto was more innocent that he'd thought. "You can learn to suppress the gag reflex. But not tonight, I don't think." He said, stroking Ianto's cheek. "So ... where do you want to have sex?"
"Bed." Said Ianto.
Jack told Ianto to lie down. He'd asked if he could top, but Jack couldn't let him. He had to learn to top by being a bottom. Ianto wouldn't know what he was doing otherwise. He had to know what it felt like before he could do it to Jack.
Jack knew he was worried that it would hurt, and he assured him that as long as he was prepared properly and relaxed around him, there should be only a slight burn to start with. He would learn to relish that burn, thought Jack with a smile. The things he wanted to do with his new little Welshman!
"Open your legs wide." Jack told him, and Ianto somewhat self-consciously obliged. Jack lay between them and kissed at his balls, running a slicked finger down his cock so that he could feel the sensation of the cold lube. Ianto moaned and hissed, then looked down at Jack between his legs.
"I feel so ... exposed ..." he breathed as Jack parted him gently. "Eugh. How do girls do this? So ... defencele-ah!" a finger had swiped over his entrance, taking him by surprise. He looked down again.
"I'm going to finger you now." Said Jack, smiling at him. "One finger to start with, then two. Then I'll do this." He showed him the scissoring action and saw his eyes widen with a little anticipation. "It'll burn a little, but you'll relax and you'll love it."
Ianto nodded, arching his back as he felt the finger probe inside him. It felt better than he thought it would without any stimulation to his dick. He never thought he'd crave for something to be inside him, big and hot and pounding him. One finger inside him, and Ianto couldn't wait to feel the rest.
The burn disappeared the instant Ianto remembered to relax. He moaned as the second finger entered him, and curled his fists into the covers as the digits sank further than the knuckles and scissored open.
"Oh my ... oh fuck .. oh ... Captain!" moaned Ianto. Jack decided liked being called Captain in bed. Maybe he'd like it even more across his desk ...
"Are you ready?" asked Jack, pulling his fingers out to disappointed whimpers and lining his slicked cock up with Ianto's hole.
"You're the boss." Replied Ianto. "You decide."
"I think you're more than ready." Replied Jack, and pushed forward. He went in slowly, letting Ianto adjust to every inch and make sure he was relaxed.
"Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes ..." Ianto was nearly shouting now.
It was at that moment, the cog door wheeled open to its fanfare of flashing lights and heavy hydraulics.
Jack pulled out, but Ianto grabbed him, desperate to be penetrated again. Jack kissed his head, and pulled on his trousers without underwear.
Toshiko was in the main section of the hub, powering up her workstation. She stopped at the sight of half-naked Jack with an approving smile.
"You okay, Toshiko? I sent you home early. Trying day and all." Said Jack conversationally.
"Stuff I have to do. Couldn't sleep. It's just racing through my mind ... you don't mind if I stay here and do a bit of work, do you?"
"Not at all." Said Jack. "I'm trying to sleep, though. Keep it down for me, yeah?"
"Thanks Toshiko." He smiled and went back to his ladder.
Ianto was sat with his back against the wall with his elbows on his knees.
"Who was it?" he asked quietly.
"Toshiko. She working."
"Oh. Shall we carry on?"
"You'll have to be quiet."
"So will you, sir."
Jack smiled at him. Ianto lay back down, his erection still prominent and having no problem opening his legs wide for Jack. The Captain shivered with anticipation. He bent down as an afterthought, and picked up the discarded stopwatch. "I've thought of a use." He said, stroking Ianto's hair and leaning over him. He popped the antique metal between Ianto's teeth. "Don't drop it."
Slipping off his trousers again, he lubed his cock and fingered Ianto, checking to make sure he was still loose enough to fuck.
Pressing into him again, he was faster than before. Jack decided it was best if he didn't go all the way inside just yet. He'd let Ianto get used to his girth first, and then tease the rest of himself in when he was properly ready.
Jack leaned forward, holding Ianto's wrists above his head and pressing their torsos together. He pinched the timepiece from between Ianto's teeth.
"Can you feel me Ianto?"
"Y – Yes, sir."
"God, yes sir ..."
"I can, sir."
"How can you? I'm not all the way inside you yet."
Ianto's eyes widened at the prospect of more. "God – Jack! More! Go deeper! I want ... please ... I want more of you inside me ..."
"Finally. You're telling me what you want!"
"Yes I am! I want you all the way inside me, sir. I want you to fuck me."
The stopwatch went back between Ianto's teeth, and Jack began to move slowly, out first and then back inside, a little further than before. He licked at Ianto's neck, nipped at his ear and found a spot just behind and below it that made him shiver to be kissed on.
Jack was finally fucking him. Quietly, and in secret, with the danger of being found. They were cramped and they had to be restrained, but finally they were having sex. Ianto was clearly loving it, with his hands pinned above his head and his legs in the air. Jack loved seeing him like that. They would have to have sex often. As often and as many times as possible.
Finally, Jack relented to his own passion and need and buried himself all the way inside Ianto. He heard a crack of glass, and saw that Ianto had bitten down in ecstasy and broken the stopwatch. Jack pulled it out in case some broken glass found its way into Ianto's mouth and cut him. He pushed two fingers into the heat of Ianto's mouth, and felt him clench his muscles and hot cum splashed between them.
'Noted,' thought Jack. 'Ianto likes having things in his mouth.'
He let himself go wild then. Let Ianto see what he had done to him. He came, stifling a shout into Ianto's kiss and held him and kissed him back. He ran his hands up and down Ianto's body: his face, his neck, his torso and his thighs feeling divine under his hands.
As they lay together afterwards, Jack told Ianto he could stay the night. No excuses to Toshiko, and he was here before everyone else anyway. He had a spare suit he'd been keeping in his locker just in case something like this happened (always planning ahead) and Jack said that him borrowing his toothbrush was probably the most hygienic thing they'd do in the next twelve hours.
Jack hadn't stayed for snuggles and cuddles after sex for too long. Ianto had fallen asleep quite a while ago, and in his unconscious state had managed to spoon into Jack's back and hold them firmly together around the middle. Jack could feel his pulse beating, even through his stomach. His old age was making him sensitive to such things.
Turning in Ianto's arms, he flicked on the beside lamp. 4 am. Returning his gaze to the sleeping face on his pillow, Jack felt a little confused. Was watching the other one sleep going beyond "Fuck Buddy" etiquette? Hang on ... why does he want to watch his fuck buddy sleep? They weren't ... like ... lovers. They were fuck buddies. It was about sex.
'Well,' said that annoying voice in Jack's head. 'To Ianto it is.'
"For now." Jack murmured sleepily, to no one in particular. He snuggled back into Ianto's body and let sleep take him away, and for the first time in years, he slept well.