This set of fics were written for the tw_lucky_7 challenge at LJ. We had a different deadly sin each week and chose one of seven Torchwood characters' POV to write. This is the first - Prompt: Gluttony, Character: Ianto
Notes/Warnings: Spoilers: TW S1:E13, S2:E01. Angsty!Ianto. Written for tw_lucky_seven for the prompt Gluttony.
Disclaimer: This fiction is based on characters and situations created and owned by Russell T Davies, the BBC and affiliates. No money is being made and no offense is intended. Characters are of legal age for sexual situations. Title from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
What Fools These Mortals Be
Ianto's stomach clenched and bile burned at the back of his throat. He quickly reached over Jack's desk and switched off the CCTV feed from the cells, the image of Jack kissing Gwen (on the cheek, but, God, the want was palpable) fading to black as the audio (and had she forgotten they'd installed it or did she just not care?) cut out.
It shouldn't surprise him – it really shouldn't. He'd seen the connection, the sparks between Jack and Gwen from the moment she walked into the Hub. He'd seen the way they bounced off each other, the way they pushed each other to do better, to be better. Jack had never hidden his affection for her, his attraction; nor had Gwen been subtle about her feelings. But Jack had said...
Ianto closed his eyes. Intellectually, he knew that Jack hadn't really meant what he'd said earlier the way it sounded...
I came back for you.
... but even with the hasty clarification...
All of you.
... Ianto's heart – his weak, foolish heart – had found enough hope in those words to hold onto.
His heart had sustained considerable damage when Jack ran away with his Doctor, much to Ianto's great surprise. He hadn't even realised he was in love until Jack was gone and he was crawling into his bed and sobbing his heartbreak into a pillow that still smelled like Jack.
His mother was right. Time really did heal – in a fashion. Like a vase that had been smashed then repaired, he'd pieced the broken shards of his heart, of his pride, back together, but the cracks were still visible and the whole was forever weakened. All it would take was one solid hit...
Like seeing where Jack's hope and heart truly lay in all its black and white glory.
Forcing himself to breathe, Ianto placed the archival information Jack had requested very carefully on the desk, ensuring it was perpendicular to the edge. He couldn't resist dragging his fingers over the polished surface, his mind assaulted with memories of all the times he and Jack had been drapedbentpinned right here, completely naked and pleading for release.
This was punishment – falling for someone who would never fall for him. He'd been happy with Jack before, and he should have known from past experience that he wasn't allowed to be content, that joy was always ripped from his grasp. But he'd allowed himself to get swept up in Jack's smile and touch and scent; he'd blossomed under his guiding hand. He'd gorged himself on the feast that was Jack Harkness' attention, and now he was paying the price for the sin of gluttony, for wanting - taking - too much.
He swallowed hard then inhaled deeply, trying to quell the sickening roiling of his stomach. He'd promised himself that this wouldn't happen, that when Jack came back, his heart would be hardened enough for it not to pinch or sting or ache.
Ianto Jones was a fool of the worst kind.
Because not only did he lie to himself, but he actually believed his own deception.
Jack kept looking at him. He could feel the weight of that searching gaze on him throughout the silent car trip to the office block, in the elevator as they traveled to the top floor of the building. It wasn't until they entered the office that Jack spoke and Ianto felt a shot of irritation that the first words Jack could be bothered saying to him were flirty and meaningless. He hadn't expected the longing looks, the intimate touches, the loaded words that Jack had exchanged with Gwen, but this...
Oh, yeah! Loving that officey feel! I always get excited in these places. To me, they're exotic. Office romances... photocopying your butt... Maybe not your butt, although as we're here...
...was insulting and, damn it, hurtful.
Ianto hated that Jack still had the power to cause him pain.
Those thoughtless words further strengthened Ianto's determination to stick to his plan: to ensure Jack remained on track, to not allow any kind of banter, no segues that could lead to personal conversations and inspire embarrassing declarations that would require Ianto to retcon himself when he got back to the Hub.
And it worked – for about five seconds. Then Jack – bewildering, infuriating, overwhelming Jack – had completely shattered Ianto's fragile resolve with his startlingly vulnerable tone...
How are you, Ianto?
And with those words...
While I was away, I was thinking... Maybe we could, when this is all done... Dinner? A movie?
... and that smile when Ianto – stupidstupidstupid – said yes...
... Ianto's bruised and broken heart began to repair itself once more, hope binding the increasingly brittle fragments.
He wanted to be stronger, to put up more of a fight, to no longer accept fucking and shagging and casual, but he knew that his heart – his careless, trusting heart – would take whatever tiny scraps Jack would offer.
Ianto sighed heavily and went back to rummaging through the desks, putting his hopes in Fate's cruel hands and praying that she decided he'd been punished enough and allow him some happiness this time.
He snorted his doubt, but his path was set now by his traitorous heart. He really was a glutton for punishment.