Nobody had any idea how it felt to be this way. To know that you were surrounded by people and yet all alone. Loneliness overwhelmed him when he least expected it. Yes there was Gwen, but she had someone to go home to every night. Owen could go into town and pick up any number of ladies of the night to keep him warm in bed and occupied so that he didn't have to think about how alone he was. And Tosh, well she was used to it by now, and rarely even thought about it while she was surrounded by metallic bits and pieces, the innards of one machine or another.
Jack had disappeared. There was no sign of him anywhere and that left Ianto – the guy that Jack had made a public display of affection towards – on his own. Abandoned and feeling discarded.
Ianto sat in the bedroom of his flat, the television blaring slightly so that he felt as if someone was in the room with him. He lay on his double bed on his back, staring at the ceiling and trying not to think. He hadn't gone back into the hatch that Jack called his quarters since Jack had disappeared suddenly. Too many memories, too many familiar smells of Jack.
He couldn't rely on anyone, thought Ianto. The feelings churning up inside him were too much to bear some days. Some nights, after spending hours in the Archive, Ianto just threw himself on his bed and curled into a ball, eyes filling with tears that silently ran down his face. He'd learnt in these long months not to cry out loud, as there wasn't anyone around to hear him. On other nights he'd lie on his sofa and just turn on a film. Emotional films were a favourite at the minute, as there was no need to feel even the slightest cause of guilt over his tears.
There were even some nights that Ianto thought about doing something stupid, but the thought of one person was enough to change that. The thought of Jack and what he would say if Ianto even contemplated something that stupid would creep into his mind before he could entertain doing something so drastic.
Ianto dreamt, when he slept at all, that Jack was back at the Hub, in control and his usual self. That he would be making coffee in the kitchen, and Jack would come up behind him, put his hands around his waist and just hold onto him. If Ianto was particularly deep in sleep Jack's touch actually felt real. But in the morning, or whatever time it was that Ianto awoke, it was to find himself alone, and his pillow drenched with tears he hadn't realised he'd shed.
If all it meant for Ianto to feel whole again and happy was one person in his life, then he would do whatever he could to keep that one person there, forever, but as that one person was Jack, and it didn't really seem likely that Jack was going to return, then Ianto had tried to fill out the time by doing something constructive.
Throughout the endless days in the Hub Ianto had organised, reorganised, labelled, filed, sorted and catalogued everything he could get his hands on in the archives, and during the sleepless nights he sat and sat and just tried to exist alone.