Ianto works hard on hiding his feelings, but sometimes Jack can be quite perceptive. Set during S02E10 - From out of the rain.
Hope you like it, please review, and characters etc. don't belong to me.
Sitting there, in that dark room, watching the images of Jack flicking by amongst those of so many long-dead people, gave me a strange feeling that I couldn't describe. It was the feeling I got every time I came across Jack's signature on an old document in the archives, or his face in a picture of previous Torchwood members. I knew Jack couldn't die, and that he was much older than I cared to think about, but it still hit me every time a new piece of evidence was laid in front of my eyes, suddenly like that. It reminded me of how little I knew about Jack. It reminded me of how different he was from any of us. It reminded me of all the things he'd done, all the lives he'd led, before I was even born, and the ones he'd go on living when I was no longer here.
I knew this wasn't about me. Of course it wasn't. What I felt was unimportant, so I didn't say anything about the strange feeling in my chest when later, back in the hub, I listened to Jack talk about his past, researching the Night Travellers. I pushed my own feelings to the back of my mind, like I'd done so many times before, and concentrated on my work.
When it was all over, and we'd gotten back to the hub, I was writing out the report in Jack's office. He was talking about how this could all happen again, that there could still be films like that out there. Since that first glimpse of Jack on the film, I had concentrated very hard on keeping my feelings buried, but now I could feel them coming back again. I excused myself and went down to the archives, pretending to have some filing to do. Once there, I slumped down in my chair, and leaned my forehead against my crossed arms on the desk. I concentrated on breathing normally, since my breathing was the only part of me I was sure to be able to control right then. I let the barrier I'd been maintaining all day come down, and the feeling of hopelessness washed over me again. It was more than that, and I still wasn't sure quite what to call it, but hopelessness was definitely part of it.
Why did I let this affect me so much? I should be enjoying what I had with Jack, for as long as it lasted, and not be worrying about what he'd done before me, or what he'd do after me. I tried to tell myself that if he left, I'd survive, because I had done it before, although an insistent voice in my head kept whispering quite the opposite. Before wasn't like this. Before was different. Sure, this time around it was different for me, but was it for him? I didn't doubt him, not really, and I didn't think he'd leave like that again. Hell, it might even turn out to be "till death do us part", not unlikely in this line of work, and that was more than most people got these days, wasn't it?
'God, when did I become this morbid?' I muttered to myself and straightened back up in my chair, quickly wiping my face with my hands, just in case my eyes had betrayed me with any stray tears.
When I got back upstairs, everyone else had gone already, and only Jack was left. He was walking down the stairs from his office, a slightly concerned look on his face. He came up to me, and wrapped his arms around me. I was a little surprised at the affectionate gesture, but enjoyed the embrace all the same.
'You ok?' he asked me softly, and I wondered if my carefully prepared mask hadn't been as effective as I'd meant it to be.
'Yeah, I just... Some of the things I find out, they just sort of... bother me...'
What I meant, of course, was "some of the things I find out about you", but I tried to make it sound like I meant the things we worked with in general.
Jack's arms tightened around me, and he sighed. One of his hands came up to stroke my neck, as he whispered
'I know, Yan. I know.'
Something in his voice told me he wasn't talking about work, either.