So, I decided to finally have a go at some Jack/Ianto. Not sure if I got it quite right, but I'll get there. This one was inspired by Near to You by A Fine Frenzy. Please review and let me know if it's worth writing more of these, or if I should just go back to writing DW! ;)

None of the characters belong to me - if they did, things would sure look a lot different over at Torchwood III at the moment... Anyway, enjoy!

Sometimes, when they were by themselves, Jack used to tell Ianto things. Stories, memories, things from his past. He'd told Ianto about the Doctor, too, so when he left so suddenly, Ianto had an idea of where he'd gone, or at least with whom. The way Jack had spoken about his Doctor had made Ianto feel slightly jealous at first. Back then, he wasn't sure Jack felt anything for him, except lust, and hearing him talk almost reverently about another man had brought out feelings he hadn't wanted to face. Although Jack didn't say it out loud, Ianto knew that he loved the Doctor, and Rose, too. It had hurt Jack when they left him, Ianto could see that, although he didn't really know all the details, but he also knew that if the Doctor ever came back for Jack, he would go in an instant, no question about it.

And he did.

Jack had finally shown Ianto that he did feel more for him than simple lust, and he had even done it in front of the whole team. Ianto had begun to lose some of his insecurities regarding other people Jack might want to be with, including the mysterious Doctor, and had let himself look forward a little, make plans, even. And then, just like that, Jack was gone.

When Jack returned, he was different. He was clearly trying to behave as if everything was back to normal, but, perceptive as ever, Ianto noticed that he was trying a bit too hard – things weren't back to normal, and neither was Jack. He had wanted to talk to Jack, ask him what had happened, and where it left them, but he wasn't sure what his place was now, and besides, they hadn't had any time to sort things out, what with Hart showing up.

When Ianto finally got Jack alone, he didn't know what to say. They were in the car, having made arrangements for the others not to run into themselves, and were driving to a hotel where Jack had suggested they book a room. Ianto tried not to feel too hopeful – after all, they had to stay away from his apartment, and the hub, so where would they go?

When they got their room, Jack walked over to the window and looked out over Cardiff. Ianto felt awkward, and just stood in the middle of the room, watching Jack. He could tell from the way Jack was standing, from hiss tense shoulders, that he hadn't relaxed at all, even though they had managed to get rid of Hart. Still undecided over what to do, Ianto saw Jack bend his head down, and sigh. Into that one sound, he managed to fit so much pain and sorrow and heartbreak, that Ianto couldn't help but to go to him. He didn't say anything, just walked up to Jack and put his hand on Jack's shoulder. Jack took hold of it without looking up, sighed once more, and then turned to wrap Ianto in his arms. Ianto closed his eyes and held on tightly, finally feeling like things would be well again.

Later, when the room was dark and the two men were lying in bed, holding each other, Jack began to tell Ianto about the hellish year he had just gone through. All Ianto could do was lie there quietly, stroking Jack's hair, and occasionally holding him a little tighter when what he heard became almost too much to bear.

'I was never with him, you know', Jack told Ianto about the Doctor. 'Not due to lack of trying, mind you; he's probably the first person ever to say no to me' he continued, trying to laugh, but not quite managing it. 'I loved him, of course, but not in a way I've ever loved anyone else before, or since. You should meet him, Ianto, he's amazing. The people of this planet don't know how much they have to thank him for. They did, once, not long ago, but not anymore. And he doesn't even care. He doesn't want them to know. This wonderful man just turns up, saves the day, then flies off in his blue box, and no one's any the wiser. I'd been waiting for him for so long. That's what all my life used to be about; passing the time until he would come back. Of course, other things turned up, and then I started with Torchwood, but beneath everything there was always that thought of him.'

'And then he came. He finally came back, and I thought he could fix me, give me back what I was missing, make my life complete somehow. But not even he could fix me. The man I had waited so long for to make my problems disappear just told me there was nothing he could do, and that was that. And suddenly I found myself imprisoned, constantly tortured and killed, with the only hope being a girl out there somewhere on her own. Every day was a reminder of my immortality, and in between the torture sessions I could do nothing else than think about everything I had lost. And you know what?'

For the first time in what seemed like hours, Jack turned in Ianto's arms and looked him straight in the eye. Ianto blinked a few times to get rid of the tears that Jack's tale had brought into his eyes, and returned Jack's gaze.

'I realized something, Ianto Jones. I had gone to the Doctor for him to give me what I was missing, and in doing that, I actually turned my back on what was important. They always say you don't know what you've got till it's gone, and no matter how much of a cliché it is, they're right. I had all this, you, us, right here, and I still left.'

Ianto could only stare at Jack. The three words he'd been waiting to hear for so long hadn't actually been uttered, but this was something so much more profound that it left Ianto speechless and in awe.

'You make me a better, Ianto. You make me feel better, and you make me want to be better – for the team, sure, but mostly for you. I know I said I came back for all of you, but it was the thought of you, and only you, that got me through those long months. I…'

Jack went silent, and swallowed. Ianto's heart felt like it was growing in his chest, or maybe exploding, and he reached out and touched Jack's cheek

'I know,' he whispered.

'I…' Jack tried again, still struggling with the words.

'It's alright, Jack, I know.'

Jack closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and suddenly seemed very determined. He opened his eyes, and looked straight into Ianto's.

'I love you, Ianto Jones. I should have told you before. You need to hear it, I know that, and I wouldn't blame you for hating me for what I did, running off like that, but I'm here now. I'm here, and I love you, and I'm not going anywhere.'

And before Ianto had the chance to reply, he had Jack's hands in his hair, Jack's scent in his nose, and Jack's lips on his. Where they belonged.