A/N: This isn't what I expected, but I wouldn't call it bad. I've been having a lot of Jack/Ianto inspiration lately, so I'll probably be writing for them a fair bit. Enjoy!

One of the Beautiful People.

He had been with people. He had held hands, he had hugged, kissed, and made love – and each of these things had been erotic, had been exciting, had been wonderful – but not like this.

Ianto Jones had been with people, but never with someone who made him feel so alive, so raw and powerful. Each touch was electric, it was new, it burned and froze, it carved and mended. Each kiss was soft, caring, and yet fiery and desperate, driven by a hunger that would and could never be satisfied. Each breath was heavy, warm, sweet.

Each moment held a lifetime within it.

With others he had had relationships, but with Jack Harkness, he had wonder, and passion, and love.

He had loved before; at least he had thought he had. But compared to this – this unique, savage, pure thing – everything else was empty. Nothing else could compare - nothing. This was it, this was what love was, true love.

When they were apart, he ached, when they touched, he ached, and each and every time Jack died, Ianto's whole being would crumble, his heart would decay in his chest, and all hope would vanish – even though he knew his love would be back soon. That knowledge provided no comfort to his screaming, tortured soul, because in that instant, Jack was gone, in that instant, Jack was no where to be found.

He had always wondered, always hoped, that maybe, just maybe, Jack felt that same about him. Maybe Jack needed him, craved his touch and his warmth, his light and his guidance. It was a foolish wish, but one he had always held.

And now, as he died in his lover's arms, he suddenly didn't want that anymore. He didn't want Jack to feel for him, how he felt for Jack – because if he did, if Jack Harkness loved him the same, this, this horrific moment would stain the rest of his eternal life. There would be no peace, there would be no happiness, there would be no hope. There would be anger, and fear, and hate, and pain, and rage, and frustration, and desperation – but no release.

He could not die. There would be no way out.

And Ianto could no imagine a worse hell, a more horrifying existence. So in that moment, he prayed, he prayed that Jack did not love him as much as Ianto loved him back. But, as he looked into his lover's raw, terrified, disbelieving eyes, he knew that his prayer had gone unheard.

This was pure, and true, and perfect.

It had been magnificent while it had lived, and as that bond died, it was just as horrifically magnificent – it was utterly brutal as it flayed Jack's insides, tearing and shredding everything that made up who and what he was, until all that remained was the pain, and Ianto in his arms.

Ianto died, but the love did not. The love he felt for Jack, and the love Jack felt for him, that continued living, that did not die. That love could never be killed.

Jack would live forever, and he would keep that love with him, he would remember it, feel it, save it, even if it made each moment of his existence a living nightmare. Because Ianto was worth that pain – the memory of him was worth anything and everything, so he would not make himself forget, not like he had done with Grey. This would never be forgotten, this love would never be given away.

Ianto had loved before, but not like this. Never like this. He had never loved forever. And forever – forever was a long, long time.

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