Title: The Truth Is Rarely Pure
Characters/Pairings: Jack, Ianto, hinted at Jack/Ianto (if you squint)
Rating: M, for swears and a bucketload of angst.
Summary: "You really think that anyone is only skin deep, Ianto Jones? You scratch hard enough, there's always more to find." It is the night of blood and metal, and Jack is left alone in the Hub with a broken young Welshman. What happened in those hours we never see?
A/N: This was a plot!bunny that hit me whilst I was trying desperately to rid myself of coursework-based writer's block, and I took it as an opportunity to to recharge my fanfiction batteries so I can get around to finishing the next chapter of "Kryptonite" (luckily, my coursework will be completed within days, so regular updates should be coming your way soon, and all I can do is apologise.)
I set myself the challenge of getting Jack and Ianto from that last basement scene in Cyberwoman to the look that they share between each other in the Hub the next day (it is the next day, in my canon, as Jack's wounds haven't healed). I wanted to understand that transition from the rage and grief of the night before, to the seeming grudging acceptance, not yet forgiveness, of the following day. I've always said I would not write a Post-Cyberwoman fic, purely because it has been done so many times before (and sometimes not too well), but the plot!bunny had a painful bite. I hope I managed to give it a different spin.
Jack's comments on Ianto's bisexuality as liking girls, but never quite enough to fit in, are based on my own personal experiences of realising you are bisexual and trying to consolidate that in to societies expectations. Be aware that, despite what is said in COE, in my canon Ianto is bisexual (rather than being a straight man in love with a man), although he only acepts this and becomes comfortable with it after he becomes involved with Jack.
This is dedicated to my mother, for letting me bounce ideas and timelines off her, even though she had very little idea what I was talking about.
The Truth Is Rarely Pure
"The truth is rarely pure, and never simple."
~ Oscar Wilde
The cold, rusted metal bit into the palm of Jack's hands as he gripped the railing overlooking the interrogation room. There was an odd swirling in his stomach, one he could not quite decipher as being down to anger, or sadness, or trepidation. He suspected all of them. He admitted none of them.
Leaning forward ever so slightly, his narrowed eyes took in the sight of the young man in the room. The glass was a one way mirror, ensuring that he could not see the immortal's eyes boring into him, the glare as penetrating as a razor and as dark as the night. Usually, the "victims" (as Jack sardonically called them) were completely oblivious to the truth of the glass, and even if they suspected, they were generally too distracted by the more obvious worries to really take much notice.
Ianto was different, however. He knew that the glass was deceptive, that Jack could see him, that he may or may not be watching his every move, calculating and noting down anything of interest. Jack was pretty certain he knew every inch of the base inside out, possibly more than he did; he would have needed to acquaint himself with the lower areas in particular, in order to succeed in the deception that he had managed to pull off.
Ianto knew that Jack could see him. Jack wagered he just didn't care.
Reluctantly breaking his eye contact and cutting Ianto off from his field of vision, Jack flipped open the ink-splotted report that Owen had handed him before leaving. He had ordered the doctor to carry out a full thorough examination of the patient, as thorough as could be achieved with the young man petulantly refusing to strip to anymore than his shirt, his body rigid and his mind seeming not to process the instructions of those around him. When Owen had looked at him questioningly, Jack had stated coldly that, as the boss, it was his duty to be aware of anything that could be a potential hindrance. The double meaning was not lost.
The report was easy enough to understand. A dislocated shoulder (eerily, Ianto had not made a sound when Owen had slotted it back into place), some severe bruising, superficial cuts to his face and arms and slight burning around his throat where Lisa had tried (succeeded) to kill him.
There was also a note from Owen.
Patient is irresponsive, unwilling to comply rather than openly protesting. Completely shut off – can't get a damned word into his skull. Am diagnosing severe PTSD. I mean it Jack. Severe. I'd wager he doesn't even know the meaning of right and wrong anymore. If you push him too hard I don't know what he'll do.
This goes back further than Canary Wharf. Just don't push it.
Snapping the folder shut, ignoring the way the hastily scribbled note slipped from between the folds and fluttered to the ground, Jack took in a deep breath before descending the steps to the door of the interrogation room. The door swung shut behind him as he entered, and Jack detected a discernable shiver run through the man sitting opposite. Even so, Ianto did not raise his head to acknowledge his presence.
Tossing the report onto the table between them with a heavy thud, Jack took a seat and clasped his hands in front of him, his eyes running over the young Welshman with a look that could only be described as derogatory. Ianto caught it, even from the corner of his eye, and Jack saw him shrink a little in his seat, his composure dropping ever so slightly. There was an air of petulance about him, like a child unwilling to meet the eyes of an angry parent. That, Jack decided, was easy enough to solve.
"Ianto Jones," he began, not letting any hint of emotion lace his voice as he spoke. "Born August 19th, 1983. One sister, Rhiannon, married with kids; parents now dead. Average student, nothing exceptional – regular council estate kid."
Ianto's eyes moved slightly to rest on his, his petulance breaking a little to let confusion through. Jack let a small note of triumph ring through him at the sight; the young man knew Torchwood protocol, and Jack guessed he'd been pretty certain of what he was going to get. But Jack had no interest in protocol. Quickly suppressing the warm smugness sparking in his mind, Jack stood up, bracing his hands on the desk, allowing him to impose himself in Ianto's personal space.
"What I want to know," he asked nonchalantly, an air of honest curiosity tainting his voice. "Is how an average student with no discernible talents manages to con me. How does that happen?"
Ianto, at least, had the decency to look scared.
"I'll tell you how it happened," Jack leaned in, his gaze narrowing. "Because there's more to you than meets the eye, Jones Ianto Jones, and I am going to find out what that is."
Something unreadable flashed through Ianto's eyes.
"I think you'll find I'm skin deep," he whispered. "Sir."
Jack let out a short bark of laughter.
"Skin deep?" he echoed mockingly. "You really think that anyone is only skin deep? Oh no…you scratch hard enough, there's always more to find."
He leaned back, letting himself fall into his chair, his arms relaxed against the wood; exactly the opposite to Ianto, who was gripping the arms of the chair with such a force that his knuckles were white and quivering.
"If you're going to kill me sir," he whispered again, his voice barely audible and yet sharp as a knife. "I see no sense in dragging it out."
"Kill you? Is that what you'd like me to do, Ianto Jones…would you like me to kill you?" Jack stood up, taking his Webley from its holster and flicking off the safety catch.
"You want to die, Ianto Jones…is that what you want?" the gun was now pressed firmly against Ianto's forehead; Jack could see the sweat beading slightly on his brow, his whole body trembling with the force of keeping still.
"You want it?"
Ianto tried to nod, the effort of holding still keeping his body petrified into place. His breath was quick and fast, his Adam's apple bobbing ever so slightly as he swallowed forcefully, obviously trying to hold something back. It didn't work. The strangled sob forced its way out of Ianto's mouth before he could stop it, and the force of it pushed him forward. He caught his face in his hands, pressing the heel of his palms against his eyes.
"That's better," Jack pulled back, putting the gun back in its rightful place as he watched the boy fall apart in front of him. Ianto shivered in the cool air of the room, trying desperately to force the tears of terror back into his eyes with his hands, rubbing desperately at them and blinking furiously.
Jack's gaze was penetrating, but he said nothing, instead opting to sit back and observe as Ianto forced himself together, pulling at the abstract breakaway pieces of himself and rebuilding them. The immortal noted how quickly Ianto seemed to recover, the fear of death, once removed, rapidly replaced by the steely determination and nonchalance that he has witnessed earlier that night.
"You played me," he hissed once Ianto's quivering had ceased. "No one plays me. You put the whole world in danger, you put my team in danger, and you knew the risks you were playing with. You saw what they did at Torchwood One, and you ignored it."
"I didn't know," Ianto responded flatly. "They were different, they weren't…"
"Human?" Jack leaned forward. "They didn't look human, you mean. They were just as human as the monster you unleashed on us tonight. Just as inhuman, just as lacking in humanity and every bit as monstrous."
Ianto was shaking his head stubbornly, his eyes dry, as though all his tears had already been shed.
"You're wrong," he forced through gritted teeth. "She was in there."
"It played you, Jones, just like you played me. Fed on her emotions and memories so you would keep it alive, so you would feed it. How does it feel to be played? To be conned? To have someone close to you feeding from your thoughts to suit their own ends?"
"I loved her." Ianto was staring at him, his eyes fierce and set.
"You loved her?" Jack remained where he was, elbows rested on the table calmly, but his face transformed into a harsh, stony shadow of what it normally was. "So tell me how it felt."
Ianto didn't move, his eyes not leaving Jack's face; looking straight through him, hardly acknowledging his presence.
"I know you played me. The suits, the coffees, the little smirks, the I love your coat, sirs; it was all to draw me in. But that night in the warehouse, that was something else. I could practically smell it rolling off you; you wanted what you saw."
Jack laughed suddenly, the sound piercing the tense calm of the room.
"All that time you were willing to risk so much, and all you could think about was how much you wanted someone else. I bet that hurt, didn't it? Every sly grope, every slutty look, each one reminding you of just how being in love isn't enough...it's never enough..."
The suited shoulders began to shake ever so slightly with the effort of keeping still as Jack spoke, a fire stoking behind those blue orbs that Jack suddenly realised were far too deep for the boy he was. But there was no water there, no tears to shed; something in those eyes, behind the fire, screamed out at the world in anger, not in grief. Jack kept his eyes focused on those dark pupils, clasping his hands and putting them to his mouth thoughtfully.
"I know your type, Ianto Jones. Poor little confused boy, liking girls like he should, but never enough, never exclusively enough; never fitting in, railing against the world; crushing on guys and jerking off in the secrecy of your room; trying desperately to hide a part of yourself, to be someone you'll never be because that's not who you are. Always lying - never letting anybody know, not even yourself. I bet, after all this time, you don't even remember what honesty is."
Ianto's lips tightened into a thin line, his body curled inwards like a spring about to release. But he held himself together, Jack noticed with a grudging degree of respect; his eyes bored into Jack's as the fire began to leave them, replaced by a tepid dullness that was every bit as disturbing as the anger whose place it took.
"I loved her."
Every inch of his body defied Jack, the repetition in the words fighting against the inevitability of what Jack was trying to tell him. I loved her. For Ianto, he realised incredulously, that was still reason enough for everything.
"I. Loved. Her"
Jack stood up abruptly, revelling in the flinch that shook Ianto's shoulders as his chair scraped across the cold stone floor. The boy was wound so tightly that the smallest movement seemed to make him snap. He had always had a strong stiffness across his shoulder blades, as if he'd left the clothes hanger in the back of his suit jacket after dressing in the morning; this, however, was something different. The normal posture gave him a sense of decorum, of professionalism that no one else in the team had managed to muster. This new posture (straight back in the chair, face stony and set, hands clawing unconsciously at the wood) made him look young and scared; it made him look breakable.
Leaning forward, Jack gripped Ianto firmly by the arm, feeling a slight tensing resistance before the muscle fell slack beneath his fingers. Pulling the young man from the seat, he gripped the back of his waistcoat with his free hand and pushed him through the door of the room, leading him through the dark, twisting underbelly of the Hub.
Ianto didn't put up much resistance, Jack noted calmly, much like he had failed to react to Owen's treatment of his dislocation earlier that night. There was something in Ianto that was dead to the physical, he realised; when it came to words, he was defiant, but when it came down to brute strength, there was little he seemed able or willing to do. He let himself be pushed forward, seemingly unaware of the tightening grip on his arm, stumbling slightly and allowing the hand on his waistcoat to keep him upright.
Soon, however, something seemed to slot together in his mind, and Jack felt him begin to shiver beneath his fingers. As they neared their destination, the darkness seeming to deepen with each step, Jack could feel Ianto's weak protestations, his feet scrabbling slightly along the dusted floor as he struggled half-heartedly, yet resignedly, for some sort of grip.
Jack didn't let go.
Finally reaching a door, Jack released the back of Ianto's clothing, yanking the metal monstrosity open and pushing the trembling Welshman through in front of him.
The first thing to hit was the smell, the intermingled smell of metal and blood pooled together. The two complimented each other, as if they were destined to collide in a conflagration of bloodshed and robotics; as if the macabre mixture of human flesh and cyber-technology had been someway pre-destined by the smell alone.
He hadn't allowed the team to remove the bodies, instead opting to send them home as quickly as he could in order to gather himself together and get a hold of a situation that had, not so long ago, been flailing wildly out of his controlling grasp. The formerly-quite coffee-boy, so blithe and obedient, had caused a shift in the way he viewed himself, and the last thing he wanted was the questioning of the team (who, to his surprise, seemed more concerned for their treacherous teammate's well-being by his hand than they were by the knowledge of what he had done) to interrupt his thoughts.
As such, the crime scene remained untouched. It remained as the carnage it had been, the only thing missing from the picture the pitiful sight of a young, suited man, crouched between two bodies, unsure of which he was supposed to grieve, instead curling in on himself in one long, pained wail.
Jack inclined his head slightly to take in the sight before him. The stiffened back of the Welshman as the sights and smells filled his senses crumpled slightly, the only thing stopping him from keeling forward onto the blood-stained ground being Jack's fingers at his back. He was like a puppet, swinging limply on its strings, unable to think or move for itself; not quite human enough to be pathetic.
Pulling softly at Ianto's clothing, until Ianto's head was as close to Jack's as it could possibly be without hurting him, Jack put his mouth to Ianto's ear.
"You loved her? I want you to look at this and tell me that's a good enough excuse. You think that girl didn't have people who loved her? They'll never speak to her again, never hold, not even have the chance to say goodbye to her body, and it's your fault, Ianto Jones. Love may be a reason, but it is not an excuse. Look at it – I want you to remember this."
Letting go of Ianto suddenly, he let the young man crumple to the ground, a sorry heap of grey material, dark against the rippling blood that swirled across the floor. As suddenly as he hit the floor, Ianto began to cough, the emptiness in his stomach resulting in a painful sounding dry heave; if Jack strained his ears, he thought he could hear words punctuating the retching. He couldn't make them out, but a very large part of him didn't want to know the words that accompanied the emotions currently crushing Ianto into the ground.
Jack had been around long enough to know when to wait. And this was one of those moments. He leant against the metal frame of the door, his eyes flicking tiredly between the wretched man on the floor and the bloodbath that the room had been turned into. As he took in the scene, the weight of all the years he had lived and died sagged heavily on his shoulder, seemingly eager to force only a little of the vengeful anger out of him. The boy - the young man - now knelt silently, deathly silently, at his feet was damaged beyond belief. Jack had witnessed the aftermath of Canary Wharf, but had managed to remain detached; he couldn't imagine what it was like to have experienced it.
Of course, that wasn't an excuse. Jack was never going to let him make an excuse. Ianto Jones was never going to forget what he had done; if he was allowed to forget then he was a danger, not just to the team, but to the world.
But Ianto was right about one thing. Jack had made a massive mistake when he failed to notice anything was wrong. Ianto kept himself well hidden, and Jack was not going to let that continue.
Kneeling down beside Ianto, Jack took a firm grip on the crook of his arm and turned him so he was propped limply against the wall, his trousers soaked in the blood of all those who had been killed that night. His eyes fixed onto the floor, the red of the blood reflecting eerily against the blue; behind it, Jack could see something akin to realisation beginning to dawn, but the effort which was unconsciously being used to suppress it was also clear.
"I need to know you, Ianto Jones," he whispered softly, yet firmly. "I have to know everything - and if I find one ounce of a hint that you've done anything like this before, or have the capacity to do it again, I swear you will not see tomorrow." And, with that, he placed his hands on either side of Ianto's face, flexing his under-used psychic muscles before reaching forcefully into Ianto's mind. He had been trained in telepathy and other psychic powers during his years at the Time Agency; he had had his mind probed at the beginning of his training, both as an exercise in submission and obedience, and a practice at forming a mental shield for the protection of the Agency itself. It wasn't pleasant - having all of your memories dragged out and paraded in front of another person was like the worst form of mental torture. He knew how he expected Ianto to react to the sudden intrusion.
He didn't expect the sudden flying up of mental barriers, like a solid wall springing upwards and blocking his path into Ianto's mind. Feeling himself spring back, he opened his eyes wildly, gripping Ianto's head tightly between the palms of his hands. Once recovered from the initial shock, he let a small smile spread itself across his lips, and let out a chuckle.
"Well," he said, amusement and intrigue leaking into his voice. "That explains it then. I wasn't conned by an average student after all. So you excelled at something...just not something Torchwood One was willing to share."
For the first time that night, Ianto looked at him properly, true fear running through his eyes. His whole body began to quiver, and Jack tightened his grip on his head to keep him steady, still and secure.
"Please," Ianto whimpered, not even trying to hold back his panic. "Please, don't..."
"I have to, Ianto."
Gathering all his strength and forcing the trembling man's head forward so that their brows connected, Jack pressed his mind against the blockade, pushing savagely against it. It was strong, stronger than he'd have expected, and it was only with some effort that he managed to force his way through, feeling the barrier shatter. As it did, Ianto went limp, his body struggling to keep from flopping against the immortal invading his mind. Jack angled them so that Ianto could support himself against the wall, whilst still keeping their foreheads together, letting himself delve into the memories. They hit him in a supernova of colour, sounds, tastes and smells, each memory distorted as he rushed from one to the other, noting each one down but never really stopping to look deeper.
No real memories of his mother. A Smoking gun. Broken echoes of words - "post-natal...suicide..."
An angry father. Shouting, swearing. "Your fault...fucking well gonna live up to it."
A broken leg. It hurts. He remembers the pain...saying he fell off the swing...the first lie...
"Fucking pansy!", taunting voices. Screwing any girl he can find just to prove he's not.
Stealing. Not needing the clothes, doing it to prove he can; the adrenaline rush.
Prison, the only time he's ever experimented; locked up and horny...no one outside will ever know.
Another death; he doesn't care; his chance to escape. "Don't go Yan"...he's not listening.
London...new sites...new sounds...it's overwhelming, but he wants to feel every inch of it.
Aliens, in London!
Lisa, sweet Lisa, taking him in; stroking his hair, he's nervous but she kisses him anyway.
Blood and fire and metal and burning and pain and oh god he knew something was wrong, why didn't he warn them, why didn't he do something, he's always known when something's wrong, always seen it, always had an inkling, Torchwood want him because he's special, because he's different, because there's something there but now he's just clutching at Lisa and she's screaming and he's screaming and he's never felt so pathetic oh god please make it stop....
Jack broke away swiftly from Ianto, releasing his grip on his cheeks. The young man didn't make a sound, instead drawing his knees up to his chest and hugging them tightly to himself, like a child, scared and alone. His mouth opened once, twice, no sound coming out; his eyes were staring ahead of him, a single tear trickling feebly from the corner of one eye before he managed to gain control of his tear-ducts. Jack took a breath before standing, satisfied that, whilst the suited Welshman at his feet was damaged and struggling, he didn't pose any further threat to his team or to the people he had sworn to protect. There hadn't been anything malicious in his intentions - just a fucked up sense of right and wrong, and a misguided view of the importance of love.
Eventually, allowing Ianto time to piece the shattered fragments of his mental barrier back together feebly, he leaned down once more, taking a hold of Ianto and leading, more gently this time, out of the labyrinth of the Hub and into the garage where the SUV was parked.
When they pulled up at Ianto's flat, the younger man seemed to have managed to pull himself together, his eyes dry, face more alert; his eyes finally seemed to exhibit the final realisation of what he had done. Drawing out his memories had not only served to reassure Jack of the safety of his team, but had also presented Ianto with a view of the bigger picture; shit had happened before, and he had moved on. That it had taken place at the scene of the crime, surrounded by the bodies (which body could conceivably be said as Lisa's?) was a coincidence that had worked in his favour, allowing Ianto to absorb the full extent of what had taken place. This extended beyond Lisa, beyond his heartbreak and grief. It was big - and he knew it.
Leading Ianto into the flat, he took a quick sweeping glance around the rooms, filled with unpacked boxes; the only real things indicating it was lived in were a few sparse pieces of basic furniture.
"I sent Tosh around earlier," he said blandly, watching Ianto wince as he slipped off his suit jacket, the dislocation finally hitting him in a wave of pain. "We've removed everything you could use to hurt yourself, so that you can't try anything. We've also attached a lock to the door, which will unlock itself in the morning; you won't be able to get out once I close the door."
Ianto nodded blithely, the emotions and physical exertion of the day creeping up on him in an obvious wave, and he stumbled slightly, bracing himself against the battered back of the couch. At a nod from Jack, he led the way to his bedroom, barely noticing the immodesty of the situation as the older man followed him, his eyes on him like a hawk. It was only when he was at the point of removing his shirt that he flinched suddenly, his eyes flicking wildly to Jack. The immortal laughed harshly, sending a shiver up Ianto's spine.
"You really think I'd be even mildly interested in that now?" the put down was harsh, but noted, as Ianto finished stripping himself down to his underwear, throwing the bloodstained clothes, uncaring, into the corner of the room. As he turned away from Jack, the Captain noticed something.
Ianto froze where he stood, a discernable tremble running through him. Now in his own flat, exposed and vulnerable, his memories abused and raped by the man in front of him, Jack could see that all the petulance and defiance had melted away into simple confusion and fear. This was the Ianto Jones who hid behind the mask; he was a strong person, Jack acknowledged, to have survived what he had survived, but at his heart there was something breakable and fragile. Today had been the crux point. The whole life of the Welshman had suddenly taken a completely different direction, and the veneer had cracked.
Stepping forward, Jack reached out and ran his hand over the raised scar that ran across from just below his armpit to the centre of his scapula. Ianto was obediently still beneath his hand, unwilling to do anything to fight the touch.
"What is this?"
"They did it," a softness had returned into Ianto's voice, a tone of deep realisation and grief. He had become something that he did not want to be, and he obviously didn't know how to get out of it. The words he had spoken were not clear or succinct, but Jack knew what he meant.
"Did they get any further?" Jack was sharp, his eyebrows disappearing beneath any further as he considered the ramifications of more cyber-technology surviving.
"No," Jack felt his body relax at Ianto's answer; he trusted his word, as the man did not have enough mental stability left to lie convincingly. "It's just superficial, basic metal bodywork. That's as far as they got. I pulled it out."
Jack sucked in air between his teeth at that, pushing the images that invoked from his mind to be examined at a later date. He was not yet ready to sympathise with Ianto's plight, so it was best to tuck those thoughts away and return to them at a more viable occasion. With that in mind, he moved away from Ianto, allowing him to climb into bed unobstructed. Slipping a hand into his pocket, Jack pulled out a pill that Owen had provided for him, stepping forward and placing it on the bedside cabinet. The last vestiges of strength leaked into Ianto's eyes as they widened, staring accusingly at the pill.
"No, it's just a sedative. I want you in work at normal time tomorrow, so you better take it to make sure you sleep."
Ianto nodded, reaching out for the pill and forcing it down his throat. Jack watched to make sure it had gone down properly, and that Ianto had not just held it in his cheek, before stepping forward and crouching down by the bed.
"I am not a monster, Ianto Jones," he whispered, noting the pain shining out of the young man's grey-blue eyes. "And I am not Torchwood One. What you did was unforgivable, but your punishment is to remember it. You're not a bad person, and this will haunt you for the rest of your life. It should; you don't deserve to forget. Come in tomorrow, and we will discuss suspension and the terms of such an arrangement."
With the last words, Jack took one look at Ianto and stood up, making his way to the door as his finely attuned hearing listened to the steadying breathing of the young Welshman curled protectively under the sheets. Just at the point of unconsciousness, he heard a husky voice fill the air.
"Because I want you to remember that people have committed much greater evil, for much worse reasons than love."
Seeming to take this as the final proof that he was not, in fact, going to die, Ianto let himself succumb to sleep, his body slackening and his breathing finally evening out for the first time that day.
Satisfied that he had done as much as could possibly be achieved, Jack closed the bedroom door behind him, readying the lock on the main door for activation. Pressing his forehead briefly against the grubby wall, he let a long sigh escape from his mouth, feeling the energy drain away from his body as he struggled to process all that had happened. All he wanted to do was prop himself against the wall and lose himself in the madness that threatened to overwhelm him; to be able to not see the bigger picture, to be able to forgive and sympathise and apologise to Ianto for what he had done.
But he couldn't. That would be down to the others, at the start. He would put in his own input when it was right to do so, but for now he was Captain Jack Harkness, and it was his duty to be the one with the difficult decisions. The world just would not work otherwise; there would come a time for forgiveness, but that time was not now. Now, all he could do was return to the Hub, sort out the terms of Ianto's suspension, work out the semantics of Ianto's newly revealed psychic prowess, remove the bodies from the basement and begin work on a believable cover story. All before his team returned to work in the morning. Jack let out another sigh, extricating himself from the wall and straightening his shoulders.
He had work to do. That was the truth of the matter.
And truth, in all its painful, blooded reality, had been the ultimate victor tonight.
Reviews and ConCrit are love.
( The scene where Jack draws on Ianto's memories was originally set in a more experimental format, but FanFiction didn't appears able to support the "Left, Right, Centre" pattern. If you want to see it in its original: http://docs(dot)google(dot)com/View?id=dfb78q3h_25fnxm63hp )